Artificial Snow in Beijing Winter Olympics

China is the first country to host both summer and winter Olympic games. China is creating artificial snow flakes for the winter Olympics to be held in 2022.

Why artificial snow?

China is to create artificial snow flakes at snow boarding, ski jumping venues of Olympic games. The cross country, biathlon, Nordic, freestyle and snow boarding games are to be held in Zhangjiakou. It is 100 miles away from the host city and is a ski destination. Here the temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius. However, snowfall is less. Earlier snowfall here was abundant. Now it has reduced to milli metres. The Olympics cannot rely on miniscule snowfall. Thus, artificial snow flakes are to be created. The artificial snow is important for gliding games. Good amount of snow means good winter Olympics.

Who created the snow flakes?

An Italian snowmaking supplier called Techno Alpin is to supply the artificial snow flakes. The company is to use huge fan powered guns and stick lances. Using these equipment, the water is to be sprayed round the clock from near by reservoir. The air is to be pressurised using multiple pump stations. While falling, the water mist particles chills down and crystallises into snow. This gives a natural snow like feel. China is to use 49 million gallons of water from its natural resources for this arrangement.

History

At first snow making at Olympics was used in 1980 over Lake Placid. In 2014, Sochi (Russia) used artificial snow. However, this is the first time, a single company is supplying all the snow required at the games.

Concerns

With the announcement of artificial snow, countries are raising questions about green and clean Olympics. Earlier China had promised to make the Olympics green and clean. According to environmentalists, the water to be used to create the snow is inevitable for the fruit plantations in the region. China’s glaciers are melting and its natural water resources are depleting. China has lost one-fifth of ice cover since 1950. Also, according to environmentalists the artificial snow cannot be restored to fresh water. This is because chemicals are added to retain the water in the snowy state for longer duration.

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