Environmental IssuesGlobal Warming and Climate Change

Climate change is a threat to winter sports – skier Schumacher

Winter sports are being threatened by rising global temperatures, according to American cross-country skier Gus Schumacher, and the Beijing Games have come under fire for hosting competitions only on man-made snow.

The cross-country, biathlon, and most freestyle skiing and snowboarding events in Zhangjiakou, some 200 kilometers north of Beijing, had a tiny dusting of natural snow before the Games began, but the competition surfaces are all artificial.

For Schumacher, it is a sign of things to come as less precipitation restricts athletes in terms of where they can train and compete.

“I think climate change will have the biggest impact on our sport in the years to come – there’s a lot of stuff that changes in skiing, but that’s the one that’s going to make it not possible,” the 21-year-old Alaskan said.

“I’m glad I’m not doing the distance races because I think it’ll be hard,” British sprint specials James Clugnet said. “If you get tired, suddenly you’ll go so much slower.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected criticism of the decision to use man-made snow in Beijing.


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