Global Warming Threatens Future Of Winter Olympics, Study Shows

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Winter Olympics: In two weeks, on February 4, 2022, the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games takes place in Beijing, China. It will be the first time that the country will host the Winter Olympics, which comes 14 years after the Summer Olympics were held at the same venue.

But to ensure optimal weather conditions for the competitions, the organizing committee has scheduled mountain events for the resorts of Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. The Winter Olympic Games do not always find an ideal venue for them to be held, as winter changes continuously in the Northern Hemisphere due to global climate change.

A new study indicates that without a significant reduction in pollution worldwide, only one of the 21 winter games venues will be able to host the event by the end of this century.

Climate change and the future of the Winter Olympics

Concerned about the risks that these climate changes pose to the performance of athletes, both in competition venues and in training areas, a group of researchers from Canada, Austria and the United States conducted a study on the topic.

Published in December 2021 in Current Issues in Tourism, the survey involved 339 elite athletes and coaches from 20 countries, who were asked to define fair and safe conditions for snow sports competitions. The majority of participants responded that the frequency of unfair and unsafe conditions has greatly increased over the past 50 years at all 21 venues hosting the Winter Olympics.

The conclusion was that if global greenhouse gas emissions are not drastically reduced, only one of the 21 cities that hosted the competition will be able to do so again. Athletes were apprehensive about the future of their sports.