With the Beijing Olympics just around the corner, a gloomy new report is warning that shorter and warmer seasons could soon mean the end of snow sports and Winter Games.
Climate change is responsible for the erosion of the season and for creating dangerous and artificial conditions, experts now warn.
The timing of the report could not have been better. The Beijing Olympics will be the first ever Winter Olympics to make use of very near 100 per cent artificial snow. The Games will make use of more than 100 snow generators and at least 300 snow cannons for creating adequate winter conditions.
But athletes aren’t entirely happy with the artificial methods used to create snow and slopes at Olympic Games. Not only do these methods require a great deal of energy and water, but they also lead to a surface that can be completely unpredictable – not to mention dangerous.
The so-called “Slippery Slopes” report was compiled by researchers at Loughborough University and in collaboration with the Protect Our Winters group.
Weighing in on the issue recently had been four-time Olympic snowboarder Zoe Gillings-Brier. According to Gillings-Brier, several competitions were recently cancelled because of a lack of snow. This had not been the case 20 years ago when she first started competing, she explained.
Gillings-Brier added that winter sports participants were generally very interested in finding solutions for climate change, with the reason being that they are confronted with the impact of global warming on a daily basis.
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