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The Winter Games Of The Future

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<snicker> if the fear of no snow is previlant for the WOG, why not Newfoundland. Those folks will have snow even when us in Nova Scotia are walking around in shorts, T-shirts, and thongs come febuary.

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An interesting article pondering the future of the world ski/winrter sports circuit:

Ski officials offer a lukewarm response to hot topic

By Nicole Jeffery

Skiing

ANOTHER week, another major competition cancelled.

At least that was the trend through the first half of the competitive season, right up until central Europe finally received a long-awaited dumping of snow late last week.

But the falls came too late to save the sport's most revered annual event, the Hahnenkamm downhill race at Kitzbuhel in Austria. It was due to be held on Saturday but was cancelled a week ago for lack of snow.

The world freestyle skiing championships, originally scheduled for last week in Madonna di Campiglio, Austria, had already been postponed until March.

In all, half of the freestyle World Cup events have been cancelled or postponed, as has some 40 per cent of the alpine events, and all for the same reason -- poor snow cover.

Resort owners have been unable to use the hi-tech snow-making equipment that has saved marginal seasons in the past decade, because of the unseasonably warm temperatures.

As climate change becomes one of the key world issues, it raises the possibility that this could be the future for winter sport. If the world is getting warmer, and few doubt it these days, then skiing is the sport that will be most affected.

``The west of North America has been fine, but the east, and central Europe have been diabolical,'' Australian Olympic Winter Institute chief executive Geoff Lipshut says.

``I can remember worse in both places individually, but I can't remember a time when both places have been equally bad, causing so many cancellations.''

Even places that have long been regarded as year-round skiing venues, like Tignes in the French Alps and Solden in Austria, both with high-altitude glaciers, have had to cancel their traditional early-season events.

Australia's leading freestyle skier, Jacqui Cooper, has never seen a worse season, and urges FIS to become more flexible to ensure that events go ahead.

``In my sport they should be ready to swap events in and out, be ready to move so they can change venues,'' she said.

``That's not easy to do but it's better to have events than to cancel events. As it is, we train for 10 months to compete for two months, and this year we haven't had the chance to do even that, and that's what we live for.

``Then there's your livelihood, too. When events are cancelled, there's no prizemoney.''

But Lipshut thinks it's too early for the FIS to start re-designing its schedule. He believes the skiing fraternity would need three bad seasons in a row to be convinced that this is their new reality rather than just another freak season.

However, if the worst comes upon them, Lipshut concedes that the ski circuit will have to make radical changes to survive.

``There are some resorts that cope a lot better in marginal conditions than others, because of their climate, altitude, infrastructure and snow-making,'' he said.

If this is the future, he argues that western North America and Asia have the most reliable climates for competition.

``There is a great opportunity to have events in China, Korea and Japan. Those climates are very barren and cold but they get a huge amount of snow,'' he said. ``Asia doesn't have a problem with climate.''

Whether that would be a palatable change to the neo-conservative central Europeans who run FIS is another question. Hakuba, Japan, instead of Kitzbuhel? Perish the thought.

Australia's long-term FIS representative, Geoff Henke, recalls that there was a ``tremendous argument'' about the skiing calendar 10 years ago when he was a part of a push to take events to North America.

``We won the first World Cup event in North America but that took a hell of a fight,'' he said.

He believes snowmaking could alleviate most of the effects of global warming, but concedes that it will be the most prestigious and traditional of skiing events, the longer downhill and Super G races that would be most threatened by warmer winters. Snowmaking is of little help on such long courses.

``To hold the slalom at Kitzbuhel this year they carted snow by helicopter, but it's always marginal there,'' Henke said. ``In the lean years, it really cops it.''

It is one of several lower-altitude resorts in the Tyrol that would be in serious trouble if the weather does not revert to normal. The sport is more than ever in the lap of the gods.

The Australian, January 29

Hmmm. Maybe we'll see a lot more North American and Asian WOGs in the future. The Europeans better make the most of it while they can!

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An interesting article pondering the future of the world ski/winrter sports circuit:

Hmmm. Maybe we'll see a lot more North American and Asian WOGs in the future. The Europeans better make the most of it while they can!

Well, global warming is .... global. There is no reason to believe that North American or Asian resorts will have an easier time. Everywhere you have to go higher, in either latitude, altitude or both. And the Snowy Mountains may in some decades be another "Blue Mountains" I am afraid.

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Watched Al Gore's movie the other day. It's worth a look if you haven't seen it yet.

They might have to start building those indoor ski areas like in Japan and Dubai. They'll have to put wheels on bobsleighs, then maybe Jamaica will have a chance...

Some sports, like ski jumping, can be done without snow. And it doesn't have to be winter for them to make ice on bobsleigh tracks. Yup, the future of winter sports is going to be interesting.

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Watched Al Gore's movie the other day. It's worth a look if you haven't seen it yet.

They might have to start building those indoor ski areas like in Japan and Dubai. They'll have to put wheels on bobsleighs, then maybe Jamaica will have a chance...

Some sports, like ski jumping, can be done without snow. And it doesn't have to be winter for them to make ice on bobsleigh tracks. Yup, the future of winter sports is going to be interesting.

Gore, along with Richard Branson, launches the "X-prize of global climate change." It is worth $25 million!

Link: BBC: Branson Launches $25M Climate Bid

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Yes, climate change in this angle has been prevalent lately in the TV news at my location. In fact, it is not only the Winter Olympics that seems to be threatened by the ever-changing weather patterns. I just watched an environmental program that accuses Beijing and London, when preparing for their respective SUMMER OLYMPICS, of breaking the promises of their overall IOC host city contracts. Yes, both cities have been making progress in some way, but the show explains the problems that are significant and could pose problems, when they get to host their Olympic Games. This should be a warning to all cities that want to be Olympic ones in the future.

Great point G! If making bids and accepted bid too far in advance one is stuck with the bill even if no delivery so to speak....I think it is a genuine issue and one that needs to be part of any bidding discussion for any winter game bidders...unless this is where insurance companies will develop new coverages...all about the money...climate coverage......

I do hope the games, any games are not hamped...they are such a tradition and measure of human evolution around the world .....without them what else will bring nations together in a peaceful gathering...

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Watched Al Gore's movie the other day. It's worth a look if you haven't seen it yet.

They might have to start building those indoor ski areas like in Japan and Dubai. They'll have to put wheels on bobsleighs, then maybe Jamaica will have a chance...

Some sports, like ski jumping, can be done without snow. And it doesn't have to be winter for them to make ice on bobsleigh tracks. Yup, the future of winter sports is going to be interesting.

Yanno SF, I am all for evolution and advancements in technology but when we have adapted something so much is it really the same thing or is it ...... faux real?

Bobsledding on wheels is not bobsledding..it is one of my fav sports and I willnot watch it if it is on wheels.....they will have to change the names of some sports...

we shall have to wait and see I guess

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I believe that right now, sports on wheels that aren't powered by human effort are verboten from Olympic consideration, which is why auto racing is not, has never been, and may never be on the Olympic program. And bobsledding on wheels is just ridiculous.

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I believe that right now, sports on wheels that aren't powered by human effort are verboten from Olympic consideration, which is why auto racing is not, has never been, and may never be on the Olympic program. And bobsledding on wheels is just ridiculous.

Alex, I think bobsledding on wheels, though I know it was used as an example...would that not be a large skateboard ?

rasta rad dude!!!!

LOL

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I just read that Rogge said, climate forecasts will be a factor when deciding upon winter Games hosts and it will be considered for 2014!

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I just read that Rogge said, climate forecasts will be a factor when deciding upon winter Games hosts and it will be considered for 2014!

Interesting news ghost...that soon

well that may knock out Halifax on these bids as our winters are getting milder and milder and I am told Europe is getting colder in some places ...

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Well, a twist of the topic's meaning here.

It seems that Turkmenistan, a mainly DESERT nation, wants to try to send its first Olympic team to the Sochi 2014 WINTER Olympics. It may be compared to the way Algeria made its debut at Torino 2006.

Mainly desert nation of Turkmenistan to field team at 2014 Winter Games in Russia

The Associated Press

Published: July 12, 2007

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: The largely desert nation of Turkmenistan plans to field its first Winter Olympic team at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

"We will certainly take advantage of the Russian invitation to take part in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, for which it is necessary to begin the appropriate preparations already today," President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov said in Thursday' official newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan.

The president did not say in which events the Central Asian nation — an oil-rich ex-Soviet republic — might compete. He ordered the Cabinet on Wednesday to draft proposals for participation in the games, the paper said.

Turkmenistan has not won an Olympic medal since becoming an independent nation after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. The last time an athlete from the nation won a medal was at the 1964 games when a Turkmen kayaker was part of the champion Soviet team.

Summertime temperatures in Turkmenistan, north of Iran, can reach 50 degrees Celsius (120 Fahrenheit), and snow is rare in winter.

Sochi, a Black Sea resort, defeated Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Salzburg, Austria, for the 2014 Games in last week's vote by the International Olympic Committee in Guatemala City.

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I think the Jamaican bobsledders of 1988-92 can now be bobsled coaches!!

If there's now snow, then it's time to add more indoor events like SYNCHRONIZED SKATING -- with men, too!

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I think the Jamaican bobsledders of 1988-92 can now be bobsled coaches!!

If there's now snow, then it's time to add more indoor events like SYNCHRONIZED SKATING -- with men, too!

Isn't that what we call ice dance? (I.e. on since London 1908...)

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Isn't that what we call ice dance? (I.e. on since London 1908...)

No. Synchronized skating is having about 15-20 skaters, mostly women, doing a routine all at once. Sort of like those ice skate shows of late, but a lot more people on the ice in competition, not a show.

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No. Synchronized skating is having about 15-20 skaters, mostly women, doing a routine all at once. Sort of like those ice skate shows of late, but a lot more people on the ice in competition, not a show.

OK. If ice dance no longer needs to be syncrhonized with the music (and possible partner) there might be a hope even for me......

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Synchronised swimming for men - FIRST!!!!!

God, now. I would rather see "Synchronized skating" first. But only for women. And only if they keep the swim suits from the swimming and, also like in the swimming, they are required to hold their breath most of the time.......

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Well, if it's the same venues, then all can be accommodated.

I've always said that water polo is nothing more than ice hockey with the ice melted -- or vice versa!! Same thing with SYNCHRONIZED Skating and Swimming. Melt the ice in the rink for Syncho swimming (men, women, mixed); and freeze it for SYNCHOR Skating. Take note, Munich -- since you are the only city that could possibly host the 2 OGs. But put the Zamboni machine away before you melt the ice!!

CAF, on Synchro Swim for men, there was an Ozzie documentary -- but strangely enought about American Synchro Swim teams -- that played on PBS the last 2 nights. The Santa Clara Aquamaids (actually some 30 mi down the road from me; and the #2 Synchro Swim team in the US after the US team) includes one guy (a Kenyon Smith) in their 8-person team. He is a 'twinkie' type but is a very strong swimmer. I think he needs to build some muscle and at least sport a beard so you could tell him apart from the Maids. Ha! Ha! (I couldn't do half the stuff he does!!)

It's a good documentary and still doesn't take out some of the silliness of the 'sport' (which the adherents take in stride) but it IS a very demanding sport. The Santa Clara Aquamaids practice like 6 hours every day -- 6 days a week. And that team doesn't go to the Olympics (poor Kenyon has to stay home. He doesn't get it that FINA and the IOC will NOT allow mixed teams.) but its members graduate to the US team. Team Canada also particpates in the US Open, and they come in as #2.

Catch the documentary when it comes your way.

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Speaking of climate change in a very frightening way, don't try this.

Link: BBC: Swimmer Rises To Arctic Challenge

_44000062_new_pugh203.jpg

Yes. This is supposedly at THE NORTH POLE and this guy is just wearing swimming shorts?

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Well, one alpine ski resort in Switzerland is now "gone" and when you see this hovering over you, the planet is starting to head "toward climatic doom."

_44033859_browncloud203nasa.jpg

The "brown cloud" is pollution from burning wood and fossil fuels, seen FROM SPACE!

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