Climate Change: Athletes Flag The Dangers Of Manmade Snow
A British skier crashes through wooden fencing on a downhill corner and slams into a pole, breaking his leg. An American hits an icy patch at the bottom of a hill and crashes into a fence, breaking one ski and twisting the other, also breaking his leg.
Another American, training before a biathlon race, slides out on an icy corner and flies off the trail into a tree, breaking ribs and a shoulder blade and punctures a lung.
These were not scenes from high-speed Alpine or ski cross events. They happened on cross country ski and biathlon tracks made with artificial snow.
Many top Nordic skiers and biathletes say crashes like these are becoming more common as climate change reduces the availability of natural snow, forcing racers to compete on tracks with the manmade version. Olympic and World Cup race organizers have come to rely on snow-making equipment to create a ribbon of white through the hills since natural snowfall is less reliable.