“I’m just worried about a future where there’s no more snow. And without snow, there’s no more skiing, so this is very near and dear to me.”
These are powerful words from Travis Ganong, a member of the U.S. ski team who grew up near the slopes in Lake Tahoe, California. He and his teammates have seen the impact of our changing planet firsthand as the snow conditions in some of their favorite venues have changed dramatically.
Then and now
Launched in 1924 in Chamonix, France, the Winter Olympics held 16 events to the excitement of 10,004 spectators. All of these events were held outdoors.
Fast-forward to 2022 and things look a little different. The Winter Games were held in Beijing with more than 100 events and watched by a staggering 300 million people worldwide. And some might say it happened against all odds. Skiers raced runs on 100% human-made snow. Ski jumps and luge tracks were made possible thanks to refrigeration systems.
The winter climate crisis
As the planet warms, locations around the world are becoming unviable as hosts for the Winter Olympics. As these trends continue, future Olympians may never fall in love with snow sports. Ski resorts worldwide are suffering or under threat due to rising temperatures.
Support from Team USA
The heartbreak of rising temperatures is felt deeply by enthusiasts worldwide, and many wonder how they can make an impact. The U.S. ski team decided to make a bold statement in a unique way: their race suits.
The U.S. team debuted new race suits at the world championships in February. The new suits feature imagery based on satellite photos of icebergs with chunks floating into the ocean.
“Although a race suit is not solving climate change, it is a move to continue the conversation and show that U.S. Ski & Snowboard and its athletes are committed to being a part of the future,” Sophie Goldschmidt, president and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard told ESPN.
Thank you, Team USA, for your efforts to raise awareness of our warming planet.
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