No Winter Wonderland For Some Olympics Participants

The snow has (again) emerged as an area of concern at the Beijing Winter Olympics.  

This is because organisers have opted to use man-made snow for most of the events, which are taking place in one of the driest parts of China. 

no winter wonderland for some olympics participantsPhoto via Sky Sports

For the record, artificial snow has been used in previous Winter Olympics, but nowhere near as much as the Beijing Games, which will depend almost entirely on man-made powder. 

While China deserves credit for pulling off such a remarkable engineering feat…some of the participants are not too happy with the surface. 

Several snowboard athletes who got the chance to try out the slopestyle course said the surface felt like ‘bulletproof ice’. 

Others complained that the overly hard surface made them afraid of falling…which is a major problem in a sport that requires participants to take risks and face the real possibility of a hard tumble. 

But its not just the hardness of the snow that people are worried about.  

no winter wonderland for some olympics participantsPhoto via Reuters

NGO’s had earlier voiced their concerns about the environmental impact of using so much artificial snow.  

Making man-made snow is a simple enough process, but to produce the quantities needed for the Beijing Games requires huge amounts of water (in one of the driest parts of the country), not to mention the power for the snow machines. 

Games organisers have defended their decision, saying they’re using renewable energy.  

Experts, however, say the reliance on man-made snow goes against Beijing’s pledge to hold a ‘green’ Olympics.  

no winter wonderland for some olympics participantsPhoto via Getty

They also say it is irresponsible to use so much power and resources in a water-scarce area…rather than picking a location with natural snow.  

Be that as it may, the action on the snow and ice officially kicks off on Friday, February 4th with the opening ceremony.  

Catch the ceremony and subsequent events LIVE on Astro channel 810.

By: Nicholas Darren John