Winter Olympics could be on ‘Moon’ with fake snow, slam Beijing 2022 critics
Experts have lashed out at the planned use of fake snow at the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing by saying that they could be held on the 'Moon or Mars' because natural weather no longer seems to matter.
Between February 4 and February 20 of this year, all eyes from the sporting world will be on the 24th edition of the Olympic Winter Games as the host city of the 2008 summer games again takes centre stage.
But the venue in which Alpine events will take place has drawn criticism, with worldweatheronline reporting that the National Alpine Ski Centre in Yanqing had just 2cm of snow between January and March of 2020.
The lack of natural snowfall has seen organisers bring in 200 snow cannons that will be used across the mountainside in Yanqing, utilising a series of trenches and pipes.
The Guardian reports that although the fake snow can be favoured by professional skiers for being "hyper-grippy", the International Olympic Committee is facing environmental questions.
The report adds that Beijing has 'scarce water resources' but insisted in their bid for the games, which was successful back in 2015, that there would be adequate supplies.
Carmen de Jong, a geographer at the University of Strasbourg, has since warned that the games could be the most unsustainable in history, and that artificial snow is energy-intensive and damaging soil health.
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She said: “These could be the most unsustainable Winter Olympics ever held. These mountains have virtually no natural snow.”
Adding of the "irresponsible" event: "We could just as well hold the Olympics on the Moon or on Mars."
With Richard Butler, a professor in tourism, saying: "The 2022 Olympics shows clearly how misused and now useless the term sustainable really is.
"It is used for whatever anyone wants and has become meaningless. Clearly money, power, influence and politics came together to award the games to an area without sufficient snow."
While the majority of Great Britain's team for the games is yet to be announced, skier Dave Ryding is set to head to his fourth games with Laurie Taylor looking to find success at her second.
Justin Francis, who is a member of the UK government’s Council for Sustainable Business, said: "This is the world’s showcase of winter sport and it’s extraordinary to host it in a place dependent on artificial snow.
"The Olympics inspires us about sport, but also about doing our bit to sustain the planet. This is the ideal platform and it’s the wrong message."
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