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Have You Seen This? Olympic skier breaks record for fastest towed speed on skis

POSTED: October 5, 2017 9:02 a.m.
Mary Dalrymple/

It's almost ski season and if this video doesn't get you excited to race down the slopes, I don't know what will.

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THE SLOPES — One of the great draws of sports like skiing is the rush you get as you speed through the air, that feeling that makes you think — just for a second — that you're weightless, flying and on top of the world.

Now imagine that feeling, but intensified.

In this video from Jaguar, former British Olympic skier Graham Bell experienced that intensity as he broke the Guinness World Record for fastest towed speed on skis, and it's pretty cool to watch.

The video starts off understandably with a warning about the danger behind this: Don't try this at home. Always obey the speed limit. You're probably not as good of a skier as Bell, and even he admits that skiing at over 100 miles per hour is inherently dangerous. (Imagine what would have happened if he had hit a bump or a dip!)

With that warning out of the way, Bell explains the project. He's been a downhill skier for years, he explains, but now he's trying something new. Though Bell is familiar with skiing, he's likely never experienced anything close to the speeds he's attempting to achieve here. NPR reported that average speeds for downhill skiers hover around 40-50 mph, and as of 2006, the record set at a downhill speed competition was 96.6 mph.

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake's top speed is 155 mph. And that's the vehicle that'll be pulling Bell.



"I've got adrenaline coursing through my system, my heart rate will be up," Bell says in the video as the team prepares the track and reviews safety procedures. "But when you go down to the actual start point, a sense of kind of anticipation and excitement comes over you."

And then the car, with Bell being pulled behind, takes off down the icy track. As clouds billow up around them, the vehicle reaches peak speeds, hitting 117 mph, and Bell has officially broken the record.

"Next time, we just need a longer track," Bell says after it's all over.

He may be excited to reach even faster speeds, but I'll just be content watching it happen afterward. Enjoy the video and remember to not attempt anything too dangerous this winter.

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