Tokyo to test snow machines for 2020 Olympics


In a bid to keep visitors cool in blistering temperatures expected during next year's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games, organizers may deploy machines to sprinkle spectators with manmade snow.

Artificial snow is the latest stratagem being considered to counter high humidity and summer temperatures that commonly exceed 30 degrees Celsius in July and August, when the games are scheduled in the Japanese capital.

A snow-making machine will be tried out at a test canoeing event on Sept 13 in Tokyo, a spokesman for the Games' organizing committee said.

"We plan to produce two tons of snow in the test," the spokesman added, but no immediate cost estimates were available.

In 1964, when Tokyo last hosted the event, it opened in October. Since 1976, most summer Olympics in the northern hemisphere have been held in the middle of summer to fit global broadcasting and sports schedules.

Tokyo organizers have tried other measures, such as vapor sprays, shaded or air-conditioned rest areas and distribution of water and ice packs, at a beach volleyball test event in July.

Officials measured the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which factors in temperature, humidity, wind speed and solar radiation, as rising as high as 31.7, exceeding a threshold of 31 at which Tokyo authorities urge citizens against exercise.

To avoid the hottest part of the day, the marathons will start at 6 a.m., with major roads on much of the 42-km route surfaced with a resin-based material organizers say will reflect infrared rays to cut its temperature as much as 8 degrees C.

Last month, heat concerns prompted the International Triathlon Union to shorten the distance of the run segment in a qualifying event in Tokyo for the July 24-Aug 9 Olympics.

Several days earlier, several athletes competing in the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships were treated for heatstroke, media said.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Given the obvious effects of global warming, the Olympic committee needs to rethink the best season/months for the games. Why even use the terms Summer of Winter games?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What? First they proposes shops crank up the AC and open their doors? Now snow machines? Is there no end to their stupidity. There is saving face and there is losing face. What next JGF water bomb Tokyo?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Whatever they intend to do.....I hope to vacate these shores come next August.If the weather wouldn't be enough to send you over the top the incessant,"Gambaru Nippon" will.It will be insane.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jesus... they'll do anything but the easiest thing to do -- change the date. What's man-made snow going to do in 38 degree heat except melt the split second it comes out of the machine?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I suppose it might be cheap than building a 42 km long air conditioned stadium.

Isn't there a long enough complex of shōtengai and depātos that they could hold it in doors and add some local consumer experience flavor, or are they saving that for the introduction of Parkour?

I suppose making runners run through staggered artificial snowstorms in a Tokyo July might cool their body temperatures

They reckon the Battle of Marathon was Aug/Sept, which must have interfered with school holidays a bit, so isn't the date Eurocentric discrimination against less temperate nations?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites