Climate change threatens Olympics

A number of former Winter Olympics sites likely too warm to host such an event by end of century

If the Earth continues to warm at its present rate, a number of cities that formerly hosted the Olympic Winter Games will be unable to in the not-too-distant future.

Only six of the last 19 Winter Olympics sites would be cold enough by the end of this century to host another such event, according to CBC News, citing a recent joint study conducted by Canada’s University of Waterloo and Austria’s Management Center Innsbruck. By about 2050, the Russian city of Sochi, the host of the 2014 Winter Olympics this month, is expected to be too warm to host the Games.

California’s Squaw Valley—where the 1960 Winter Olympics were staged—will also likely be too warm “by the 2050s to deliver the kind of natural ice and snow used for alpine and other sporting events,” the CBC article said, adding that the only “climate reliable” previous Olympic sites in the 2080s would be Calgary, Canada; Albertville, France; Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy; Sapporo, Japan; St. Moritz, Switzerland; and Salt Lake City, Utah.