Beijing Winter Olympics being held on Fake Snow

By: | February 14th, 2022

Image courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

The 2022 Winter Olympics is an international winter multi-sport event taking place in Beijing, China. Usually, Winter Olympic venues are the places that receive an average snowfall of 300 inches per year or more.

But Beijing normally receives only a few inches of snowfall each winter month. Moreover, the slopes around the northwest of Beijing are too dry and warm for creating any snow for the Winter Olympics. So all the snow used at the Games is entirely artificial.

For maintaining ski routes on arid mountains, China has used 42.4 million cubic feet of artificial snow. For producing this huge amount of snow, they have used hundreds of machines.

According to the Loughborough report, for generating sufficient snow that lasts for the whole duration of the Winter Olympics, China will have to pipe about 59 million gallons of water. Then this water is chilled by eight water cooling towers. After that this chilled water is blasted through one of 300 snow cannons powered by 130 electrical generators. 

But athletes fear that the snow can be very dangerous and environmentalists decrying the impact of the chemicals used 

Although Beijing officials claim that the required energy will be provided from renewable energy sources, environmentalists are concerned. Environmentalists are worried about the chemicals being used to increase the lifetime of fake snow. They fear that these chemicals can damage plants buried under the artificial drifts and may also leach out in the wider area.

Moreover, skiers and snowboarders prefer the softer surface of natural snow for safety reasons. They fear more injuries due to the hard surface of artificial snow in the event of crashes.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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