Home University Sports Can the snow stay – a winter athlete’s view on climate change

Can the snow stay – a winter athlete’s view on climate change

Julieta photo 3

January 14, 2023 | at the FISU Winter University Games

Can the snow stay – a winter athlete’s view on climate change

Julia's photo 3Dahria Beatty’s Facebook photos

How many dreams are left to come true? How many competitions to take part in and medals to win?

Thousands of triumphs and celebrations await countless athletes who work every day to have these opportunities. Their efforts are enormous, their motivation amazing.

Climate change is a problem that constantly threatens winter sports events such as the FISU World University Games in Lake Placid 2023, as well as directly to athletes. It makes it very unfair that their goals and greatest desires are interrupted overnight by external conditions that cannot be reversed in a short time.

Julia's photo 1Rising temperatures, melting glaciers and a lack of snow are already a fact. Athletes experience a constant feeling of anxiety as they experience the shrinking places where they can train and the shortening of the periods when they can use mountains and glaciers in the winter.

Dahria Beatty is a Canadian cross-country skier from Whitehorse, Yukon, and is part of the Canadian national cross-country team. When talking about the lifestyle of a cross-country skier, he says that he looks for snow all year round.

“I skied for the first time on the Haig Glacier in Kananaskis in 2010. Since then I have noticed big changes and how early the snow cover melts and how long we can use the glacier for training each year,” he laments. .

Athletes are very concerned about how the climate is changing and they don’t know where this situation is going. There has been an increase in temperature of more than one and a half degrees in the last 50 years, which is truly worrying for the future of winter sports.

However, Beatty explains that the effects of climate change are much more diverse than just warming, such as increased rainfall and its impact on snow, as well as strong winds. Also with more precipitation and warmer weather there is a greater chance of fog and poor visibility, which can make competitions very dangerous.

Despite this tragic scenario, thousands of athletes like her are convinced that we can make a difference.

“[The] the future is really exciting when it comes to the profitability of low-emission winter sports. Over there [are] in many places we will still be able to host winter sports. People and countries working together can make a big difference that can lead us to a low-carbon future,” she said.

The Save the winter conference kicked off on Friday, January 13 as part of the FISU World University Games in Lake Placid 2023 and will continue on Saturday and Sunday.

Written by Julieta Boschiazzo, FISU Young Reporter

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