Slippery slope report shows how dangerous climate change is for the 2022 Winter Olympics

The Beijing Olympic Games in February are set to become the first Winter Games on virtually 100 percent artificial ice. Yes, you read that right. More than 100 snow generators and 300 snow-making guns are working to cover the ski slopes of the 2022 Winter Olympics in artificial snow before the start of February 4th. Of the 21 venues used for the Winter Games since 1924, it looks like by 2050 only 10 people will have the level of ‘climate suitability’ and natural snowfall to host the event.

Chemonix is ​​now rated as ‘high risk’ with destinations in Norway, France and Austria, while Vancouver, Sochi and Squaw Valley in the US are considered ‘unreliable’.

The steep slopes outside Beijing obscure an unfortunate truth: it will be the result of an estimated 49 million gallons of chemically treated water, stabilized by snow-machines, an energy-intensive process that is costly and potentially harmful in winter stressful areas.

“This is not only energy and water-intensive, but the frequent use of chemicals for slow melting also brings to the surface what many competitors say is unpredictable and potentially dangerous,” the report said. Is published on Wednesday.

Climate change has been blamed for creating more dangerous conditions for athletes and participants to jeopardize the future of the Winter Olympics and snow sports. The report is based on input from leading skiers, snowboarders and bobsleders who are worried about the future of snow sports due to climate change, the release said.

It is created by the Sport Ecology Group of Lofborough University and ‘Protect Our Winters’.

Scottish freestyle skier Laura Donalds warned that if “freestyle super pipes are made from ice-making machines in the weak (natural ice) season, the pipe walls are solid, vertical ice and the pipe floor solid ice.” This is dangerous for athletes, some have died. “

Philip Marquis, a two-time Canadian Olympian and a leading freestyle skier, talked about the “fundamental formation of ice formation and the dramatic changes in the landscape of glaciers” seen in recent years.

He described the “increase in injuries due to lack of practice on ice” and explained how “conditions are definitely more dangerous than we have seen before.”

Navigating through the irregular snow season and the rapid melting of low-level resorts are now commonplace for many competitors. The danger is clear: man-made warming threatens the long-term future of winter sports. It is also reducing the number of climate-appropriate host venues for the Winter Olympiad, the report points out.

“I’ve seen big changes in snowpacks at winter ski resorts in those 30 years and especially glacier cover or conditions and the changes are very worrying on many levels,” said Leslie McKenna, a three-time GB Olympian in the snowboard half-pipe (2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Games). And ‘Protect Our Winters’ UK Ambassador.

“I have loved snow sports for the last three decades. But I’m worried about where I will be in the next 30 years. “

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