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Tokyo

Paralympic closing marks end of Tokyo's 8-year Olympic saga

  • The final act of the delayed Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics came Sunday, almost eight years to the day after the Japanese capital was awarded the Games. The Paralympics ended a 13-day run in a colorful, circus-like ceremony at the National Stadium overseen by Crown Prince Akishino, the brother of Emperor Naruhito. The Olympics closed almost a month ago.

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Making it stick: wind challenges snow makers at Games site

Strong wind is hampering snowmaking for the Winter Olympics in China. "I want to try to get the snow quality on my jacket. But it's too much wind." Swiss man Zach Fournier has been making snow since 1994. "The temperature is minus eleven degrees."His team ensures snow is properly made on the trails, ramps and slopes in the arid heights of Zhangjiakou, nearly 125 miles northwest of Beijing in Hebei province. But the arid climate are making things tricky. The wind is too strong for the snow to stick. Actually, it's a lot of difference because here is no humidity. It's very dry and it's a lot of wind. So in that kind of condition, the goal and the target is really to make the snow, and to make the snow compact, and to prepare rapidly to not lose it by the wind."Zhangjiakou will host Nordic snowboarding and freestyle skiing events at the Games in February 2022. However, the area receives little natural snow. This fact has raised concerns among environmentalists about demand for water to make artificial snow. On a recent, particularly gusty day, snow guns sprayed 2.1 liters of water per second. The more the wind blows snow, of course, the more is needed. Alpine skiing events will take place at the National Alpine Ski Center in Beijing, which gets even less snow. Games officials say conservation efforts will minimize the impact of water use during the games.
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