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Climate concerns delay Winter Games host decision

Artificial snow needed to be produced for most events at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Artificial snow needed to be produced for most events at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Photo: Getty

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has postponed the election of the 2030 Winter Olympics host city in view of climate change and its effect on snow and ice sport.

The IOC said on Tuesday that its future host commission needs more time for an assessment and that the host would not be picked as originally planned at the 2023 IOC Session.

The statement said a commission report to the executive board led to “a wider discussion on climate change, sustainable winter sport, and future opportunities and challenges.

“Upon the request of the commission, the executive board decided to give the commission more time to study all these factors and opportunities to make the best possible decisions about future hosting.”

IOC Olympic Games director Christophe Dubi would also not rule out rotating the Winter Games between cities and regions, with possible conditions including potential hosts proving sub-zero temperatures over a 10-year period during the traditional February slot for the Games.

Recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, PyeongChang, South Korea, and Beijing, China, have all used huge amounts or artificial snow.

The 2022 Games in Beijing was intended to be on 100 per cent artificial snow prior to an unseasonal blizzard. Nearly 50 million gallons of water was required to create it.

Dubi added discussions are yet to be finalised, as is a possible double awarding of the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games.

The IOC said that three interested parties have been notified of the delay, with Salt Lake City, Sapporo and Vancouver said to be the trio – all three having hosted Winter Games in the past.

The 2026 Winter Olympics are in Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

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