Ski Teams Traveling The World To Try And Find Snow
As the Pyeongchang Olympics approaches, several athletes are having trouble training because they can’t find enough snow.
Global warming has caused changes in conditions that have teams traveling all over the world because their usual training sites do not have suitable conditions.
That’s why several Americans are in Saas-Fee, Switzerland instead of some parts of the good ‘ol USA.
“Without the snow and cold in the places in the States where it’s normally cold, we have to travel over here and find a place on a glacier to get a couple of jumps off,” world aerials skiing champion Jon Lillis told the Associated Press.
“Something that terrifies every winter athlete daily is the fact that the conditions are not as good as they used to be. You see videos of people skiing on glaciers back in the ’80s and ’70s and half of that glacier doesn’t even exist anymore.”
The aerials team halted its training at its headquarters in Park City, Utah, last year, until show arrived late in the season.
And it’s that way around the world. In Saas-Fee, which has a glacier at 11,000 feet in the Swiss Alps, athletes are hearing the roar of large chunks of ice breaking off the glacier.
This summer, the “Lucifer” heat wave caused a major reshuffling of plans for many teams. The Canadian skicross team canceled a planned training session on Stelvio glacier in Italy and instead wound up on much smaller Mount Hood in Oregon. France’s moguls team cut short its training in Tignes, France, when a crevasse opened up under the course.
“What scares me about global warming,” France mogul team member Ben Cavet told the AP, “is that you can see the world is suffering in some of the most beautiful places on Earth.”
The XXXIII Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are Feb. 9-25.