The Winter Olympics could potentially be held at the same venues more often in the future due to the climate crisis, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
“One of the possibilities is that we think about a certain rotation system,” says IOC president Thomas Bach. In this way, winter sports locations with certain snow could regularly organize the Olympic Games or World Cups, the German believes. In this way it could be possible to ensure that the facilities remain at the necessary high level, says Bach.
Bach already said in December that he is very concerned about the consequences of climate change for winter sports. “By 2050, between 50 and 60 percent of winter sports areas in Europe, which were considered to be snow-sure and suitable for the Olympic Games, will no longer exist,” Bach said at the time in response to questions from the German news agency. DPA. The highest sports boss called that “alarming”.
Fewer winter sports areas in the future
He fears that regions that are still regarded as winter sports areas will no longer invest in snow and ice sports, but will focus on other sources of income such as hikers and mountain bikers. As a result, the number of places where World Cups in winter sports and Winter Games can be held will decrease considerably. According to Bach, winters will also become shorter due to climate change. “That then raises the question of how much time is left for World Cups, World Cup competitions and the Winter Games,” said the chairman. According to him, the current format of the Winter Games is under pressure because of that question.
In early December, the IOC already decided to postpone the allocation of the 2030 Winter Games. That would be decided next year, but “in view of climate change and the resulting challenges for winter sports” that deadline was postponed. Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver have applied. The 2026 Winter Games will be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
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