In the most thrilling event on the slopes, racers reach hair-raising speeds.
Downhill skiers are the daredevils of the snow.
In a race that is purely man, or woman, versus mountain, downhill skiers tactfully dodge marked gates in the slope's fastest race. Fastest to the bottom wins.
With their adrenaline pumping and their precisely curved skis helping them accelerate down the course, Olympic downhill skiers eclipse speeds of 80 to 95 mph, though those speeds are not necessarily sustained throughout the entire run. In some cases, racers have graduated to speeds of more than 100 mph. The crouching position allows racers to reach maximum speeds while minimizing air resistance.
The speed demons of the slopes travel so fast that any misstep can produce severe injuries such as burns or broken bones. The high level of risk for athletes produces high reward, as it has fans squirming in their seats as athletes squeeze past the gates.