For the first time, climate change is a determining factor in the Winter Games

For the first time, climate change is truly affecting decision-making around one of the world’s biggest sporting events. The allocation of the 2030 Winter Olympics has been delayed, in part because more research is needed on climate change and the role of higher temperatures in the candidate cities. Originally, the Winter Games were to be awarded next year. But at the IOC’s annual conference this week, the main council decided to postpone the vote.

The resolution is staggering, to say the least. But the discussion can also be explained. The Winter Games are more sensitive to climate change than the Summer Games. It is increasingly difficult to find places that meet the minimum requirements for winter sports. Two of them: snow and ice. Also last spring during the Beijing Winter Games, the ski slopes were the only white spots in the landscape.

Not a new city every four years

Recent research has already shown that if the Earth’s temperature rises by more than 2 degrees, only one of the 21 venues where the Winter Games have previously been held can responsibly host the tournament.

Several options are mentioned. For example, there is an idea to cycle the Winter Games among a number of predetermined cities, rather than choosing a new city every four years. To calculate the climate, the candidate city must be able to demonstrate that it has recently experienced periods of less freezing on the dates the Games are normally held (in February). There are also calls for sites where stadiums have already been done, such as an ice skating rink – or can be built very easily.

From six to two

But there are also simply organizational problems that explain the delay. It’s been hard to personalize the Winter Games for years. There were originally six candidates for the 2022 edition, but four have been disqualified. Then the IOC chose Beijing over Almaty in Kazakhstan.

Salt Lake City in the United States and Sapporo in Japan were said to be the biggest candidates for the 2030 Games, after the Vancouver (Canada) bid failed to gain support from the local government. But Salt Lake City would prefer the Games to be held in 2034, and in Japan, a corruption scandal surrounding the Tokyo 2021 Games does nothing for the new bid.

The IOC now wants the Games to be allocated on a flexible basis, although it is unclear when they will be allocated. The Salt Lake City show’s organizer, Fraser Pollock, was surprised by the postponement. “But the cause is good.”

By the way, there was also a report from the International Olympic Committee about the 2022 Games in Beijing. That was, without the snow, one of the best games ever. Says the International Olympic Committee. Nor has the pandemic “disrupted the Games”, despite isolating staff, media and athletes from the non-Olympic bubble.

Games 2026 is not in danger. It takes place in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy.

Read also:

Climate warming threatens Olympic snow sports: ‘The situation is more serious than imagined’

Climate change threatens ski sports. New research among snowboarders themselves shows that it’s becoming increasingly dangerous to come down.

See also  Dutch dressage championship: Van Leer can go to gold in the absence of Gal | Sports in Zeeland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *