The Winter Olympics and its consequences

The forthcoming Winter Olympics is going to be spectacular. However, the only thing lacking in the alpine setting is snow. The addition of fake snow carries a huge environmental toll.

The Winter Olympics and its consequences

Between the months of January and March 2021, the National Alpine Ski Centre in Yanqing saw just 2cm of snow. Unlike Yanquing, London, Madrid, and Paris saw a larger record of snowfalls. Hence, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is now facing questions on the environmental cost of conducting the Winter Olympics that start on February 4, 2022. The Alpine runs are built inside a protected nature reserve, According to the calculations, the Beijing 2022 games will need almost 49 million gallons of water for creating the artificial snow.

“These could be the most unsustainable Winter Olympics ever held. These mountains have virtually no natural snow,” said Professor Carmen de Jong. Professor Jong is a geographer at the University of Strasbourg. She also added that artificial snow is not only energy and water invasive but, is also damaging for soil health. Previously during the bid in June 2015, the IOC officials warned that Yanquin, the location of slalom and downhill skiing, and Zhangjiakou, the location for ski jumping, snowboarding, and cross country skiing have meager annual snowfall rates. They “have minimal annual snowfall and for the Games would rely completely on artificial snow,” stated the report.

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