Winter Olympics host decision postponed due to climate change
The Future. Although the International Olympic Committee was expected to choose a host city for the 2030 games next fall, the committee is postponing that decision until it has studied more about how climate change will affect the venues. With “climate reliable” venues dwindling, the Winter Olympics may only be hosted in a handful of locations over the coming decades.
The IOC is concerned that wherever it chooses for its next Winter Olympics host city will be too warm when the time comes.
- Axios reports that the committee is studying whether potential host cities will be cold and snowy enough to put on the games when the time comes.
- That could potentially lead to host cities showing an average minimum temperature below 32 degrees Fahrenheit over 10 years.
- The three leading contenders — Salt Lake City, Vancouver, and Sapporo, Japan — all say they currently pass that rubric.
Outside of the just base temperature requirements, the IOC has tapped researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario to work with athletes to determine safe weather conditions for competition — everything from snow texture to ice composition.
Through the ringer
The climate studies may also lead the ICO to create a host rotation, allowing eligible cities to know they’ll host several times over the course of decades.
- SLC says it will meet potential climate standards through 2050 as long as emissions are lowered in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
- Sapporo says that it can do so until 2080, even without a reduction in emissions.
Ironically, SLC doesn’t really want to host the 2030 Olympics. It would rather wait until 2034 to not cannibalize sponsors of the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.