Author Topic: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate  (Read 6791 times)

GuitarStv

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Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« on: February 14, 2014, 11:51:11 AM »


WTF.  Why do we have to go through with this every winter Olympics?  Man made snow, constant cooling devices, refrigeration units, untold cost.  What a phenomenal waste.  Why not pick a spot in Russia that's cold?  You know . . . like most of the damned country?

Better yet, why not build one facility to hold the winter Olympics in every year?  Stick it in Antarctica.  Stop wasting money to rebuild it every year, people would be using the same courses each Olympics so times and difficulties would be more comparable, and (AFAIK) Antarctica isn't owned by any single country so it satisfies the independent criteria.  Also, snowboarders dodging penguins would be funny.

/rant

ArcticaMT6

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 12:40:12 PM »
Antarctica.

And how would they supply the power for the event that gathers thousands of athletes and millions of visitors? All the facilities required to feed and house everyone, maintenance on the facilities since they would be empty (and frozen) for probably 9 months a year, travel for all the people that go to the games to Antarctica, etc.

Hardly will be cheaper or less waste than Sochi.

MissStache

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 01:00:23 PM »
I'm not sure if it is because these are my first olympics after finding MMM or because this olympics in particular is just a swirling maelstrom of waste and corruption and irrational planning, but I have been just straight up DISGUSTED with everything related to the event this year.  I can't bring myself to watch or care about a single event.  It just makes me so mad!

warfreak2

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 01:08:08 PM »
I lived in London during the 2012 Olympics and felt exactly the same way.

GuitarStv

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2014, 01:12:14 PM »
Antarctica.

And how would they supply the power for the event that gathers thousands of athletes and millions of visitors? All the facilities required to feed and house everyone, maintenance on the facilities since they would be empty (and frozen) for probably 9 months a year, travel for all the people that go to the games to Antarctica, etc.

Hardly will be cheaper or less waste than Sochi.

I just want to see a winter Olympics that looks like it's taking place in the winter.

Although, I suspect that they could work something out with one of the science and research bases down there.  You wouldn't have to keep rebuilding the facilities every four years which would be cool.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 01:14:05 PM by GuitarStv »

Brad_H

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 01:18:15 PM »
It might make you feel better about the whole thing to know that one of the functions of an Olympics is to force countries to address their more egregious practices on a world stage.  China was it's smog and human rights violations, Russia is their rampant corruption and human rights, Rio de Janeiro will probably be it's crime rate etc... I don't think the committee picks the best place, or like you said they would always hold the Winter games in Lillehammer, Norway (considered the best by some).

Rachelocity

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 01:20:39 PM »
I was gonna suggest having the games in Montreal, where I live, because if the jinx holds, we'll have a mild, mild winter every four years!  Plus, I'd love to see the gangs of penguins chasing people. 

the fixer

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 01:22:16 PM »
I was reading about this last night a bit. It's pretty ridiculous... but then with climate change it's going to get harder to find cities that have the proper climate to host.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/4/5377356/sochi-winter-olympics-2014-subtropical-transformation
http://ampp3d.mirror.co.uk/2014/02/03/climate-change-may-make-it-harder-to-find-winter-olympic-host-cities/

Eric

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 01:46:25 PM »

I just want to see a winter Olympics that looks like it's taking place in the winter.


Really!  When are those lazy meteorologists going to finally expand that 10 day forecast to 6 years?  :)

This winter has been screwy.  Up until last week, Atlanta had received more snow this winter than Lake Tahoe.  Yet in most winters, Lake Tahoe has 30-40 feet of snow.  Good thing they weren't picked to host again!  Or it could've been an awesome snowy wonderland like most years.  Luck-o-the-draw.

Russ

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 02:22:19 PM »

I just want to see a winter Olympics that looks like it's taking place in the winter.


Really!  When are those lazy meteorologists going to finally expand that 10 day forecast to 6 years?  :)

This winter has been screwy.  Up until last week, Atlanta had received more snow this winter than Lake Tahoe.  Yet in most winters, Lake Tahoe has 30-40 feet of snow.  Good thing they weren't picked to host again!  Or it could've been an awesome snowy wonderland like most years.  Luck-o-the-draw.

Allow me to introduce you to Sochi climate data... where the coldest month of the year has on average 6 snowy days and 19 rainy days, and the average low is still above freezing. Luck of the draw and a screwy winter has nothing to do with it in this case.

Eric

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 02:28:56 PM »
Sure, at close to sea level.  Most of the events take place way up in the mountains, where they'd expect to have much more snow and colder temps, right?  The Olympics are almost always really spread out.  Maybe they should find a place where they could increase the density of events and people as an alternative?

GuitarStv

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2014, 02:37:54 PM »
It might make you feel better about the whole thing to know that one of the functions of an Olympics is to force countries to address their more egregious practices on a world stage.  China was it's smog and human rights violations, Russia is their rampant corruption and human rights, Rio de Janeiro will probably be it's crime rate etc... I don't think the committee picks the best place, or like you said they would always hold the Winter games in Lillehammer, Norway (considered the best by some).

Ummm . . . So this function is failing wildly in Russia then?  Corruption was rampant in the construction of everything, the cheating in the luge, and they aren't exactly winning any human rights awards for treatment of gays . ..

forward

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2014, 03:18:12 PM »
I'm not sure if it is because these are my first olympics after finding MMM or because this olympics in particular is just a swirling maelstrom of waste and corruption and irrational planning, but I have been just straight up DISGUSTED with everything related to the event this year.  I can't bring myself to watch or care about a single event.  It just makes me so mad!

^This.  The Friday of the opening ceremonies a coworker said to me that they were so looking forward to the winter olympics after a particularly bad week.  I thought hmm, maybe they are right?  I haven't been able to bring myself to even watch a few minutes, it just seems like such a hypocrisy.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2014, 05:03:52 PM »
Olympics in general (summer and winter) are disgusting and should be gotten rid of. Have never cared for them all that much, but made it an extra point this year to avoid them.

Sochi alone would pay for 4 extra Mars (unmanned) missions.

Albert

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2014, 12:06:17 AM »
It's just an entertainment, not different in essence from movies or any other sporting event. I personally like Winter Olympics much better than the ones in summer. As for Sochi in particular a lot of money was stolen, but that is Russian problem and not necessarily something I need to worry about.

Sochi itself has a subtropical climate, but the ski resorts in the mountains nearby have plenty of snow most years. The problem with giving hosting rights to colder places is that it's difficult to find a sufficiently large towns high in the mountains. It used to be that the games were given to ski resorts themselves (Albertville, Lillehammer etc), but with the perpetual growth of the event it wasn't financially viable anymore. Therefore lately the host is a nearby big city (Nagano, Turin, Vancouver, Sochi) regardless of climate hosting all indoor events with outdoor events higher in the mountains.

KingCoin

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2014, 11:33:56 AM »
To put things in perspective, the Sochi games cost $500 MILLION PER EVENT to put on. It's hard to think of a more phenomenal waste of resources. I totally second the idea of having them in the same place every year.
http://www.businessinsider.com/abandoned-venues-1984-sarajevo-olympics-2013-11?op=1

Beyond the financial cost is the waste of human resources. Whole cadres of individuals dedicating their lives to flying in the air on skis for maximum distance or sledding down an ice chute in the minimum amount of time. All this in the name of proving by proxy that our race/nation is better than your race/nation.

Makes you yearn for simpler times:
http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/fivering_circus/2014/02/first_winter_olympics_what_skaters_ski_jumpers_and_curlers_looked_like_in.html

marty998

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2014, 01:32:30 PM »
I was gonna suggest having the games in Montreal, where I live, because if the jinx holds, we'll have a mild, mild winter every four years!  Plus, I'd love to see the gangs of penguins chasing people.

Penguins would probably win the gold medal in the skeleton.

It might make you feel better about the whole thing to know that one of the functions of an Olympics is to force countries to address their more egregious practices on a world stage.  China was it's smog and human rights violations, Russia is their rampant corruption and human rights, Rio de Janeiro will probably be it's crime rate etc... I don't think the committee picks the best place, or like you said they would always hold the Winter games in Lillehammer, Norway (considered the best by some).

Ummm . . . So this function is failing wildly in Russia then?  Corruption was rampant in the construction of everything, the cheating in the luge, and they aren't exactly winning any human rights awards for treatment of gays . ..

How do you cheat in Luge? Other sports I can understand (backroom deals with judges etc). But a timed sport like Luge? Are you talking about drug cheats?

Albert

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2014, 01:42:17 PM »
Actually it's not that difficult to cheat in luge (other than doping). If you own the track you could adjust ice temperature and consistency in a way that favours your team, you could also use illegal materials and construction methods in making your equipment. I can't comment on whether Russians are involved in any of it now, but there have been cases of such behaviour by various parties in luge, skeleton and bobsled...

MgoSam

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2014, 07:15:14 PM »

I just want to see a winter Olympics that looks like it's taking place in the winter.


Really!  When are those lazy meteorologists going to finally expand that 10 day forecast to 6 years?  :)

This winter has been screwy.  Up until last week, Atlanta had received more snow this winter than Lake Tahoe.  Yet in most winters, Lake Tahoe has 30-40 feet of snow.  Good thing they weren't picked to host again!  Or it could've been an awesome snowy wonderland like most years.  Luck-o-the-draw.

There is an excellent chapter in Nate Silver's "The Signal and the Noise" that helps address this. Meteorology is tougher than I thought, and way harder to predict 5 days out than nearly anyone realizes. Made me appreciate an accurate forecast a heck of a lot more.

GuitarStv

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2014, 07:51:34 AM »
How do you cheat in Luge? Other sports I can understand (backroom deals with judges etc). But a timed sport like Luge? Are you talking about drug cheats?

The Russian team threw their qualifying run so that they would go early on during the finals.  All the other good teams went last.  When the Russians went, the track was measured as being cooler than when the Canadians/Germans and others went . . . despite the fact that ambient air temperature had dropped.  A couple degrees difference at the track makes you go down faster/slower.  There was a lot of speculation that the Russians tampered with the track cooling apparatus but no real way to prove it.

stealmystapler

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2014, 10:50:39 AM »
The waste is definitely huge. It's hard to believe countries think that they'll get much of a net benefit from hosting the Olympics. (But I still love watching them!) If you haven't seen this come around yet, these photos of deteriorating Olympic structures are astounding.
http://io9.com/after-the-games-photographs-of-decaying-olympic-sites-503372635

And to be fair to the guy in the picture - that may not just be a warm day you're seeing. Have you ever been cross country skiing? It's a real workout! If you're going any distance, once you get started it's basically a sport of slowly taking off your layers. The problem is once you stop and your sweat starts to make you cold - fast!

Albert

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2014, 02:27:20 PM »
Olympics is a big party. When you invite a bunch of people to your place for a dinner and drinks do you expect to make a lot of money back from it? I bet not and the same is true for Olympics.

GuitarStv

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Re: Holding the Winter Olympics in a Sub-tropical climate
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2014, 06:05:35 AM »
The waste is definitely huge. It's hard to believe countries think that they'll get much of a net benefit from hosting the Olympics. (But I still love watching them!) If you haven't seen this come around yet, these photos of deteriorating Olympic structures are astounding.
http://io9.com/after-the-games-photographs-of-decaying-olympic-sites-503372635

And to be fair to the guy in the picture - that may not just be a warm day you're seeing. Have you ever been cross country skiing? It's a real workout! If you're going any distance, once you get started it's basically a sport of slowly taking off your layers. The problem is once you stop and your sweat starts to make you cold - fast!

The news article said that the cross country ski event was held in 14 C (57 F) conditions.  Several of the athletes were complaining that it unbalanced the competition . . . because if you are a more heavily muscled/taller athlete you sink significantly father down into the slush thus slowing you down more than a petite competitor.  :S