Atlantic: We may run out of winter for the Winter Olympics

posted at 10:41 am on February 13, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Will Sochi be the last Winter Olympics? Has the Earth run out of snow? Readers on the east coast may find this essay from The Atlantic’s Ian Freidman a little ironic today, but he warned just as the snowstorm hit the entire East Coast that global warming was making the Winter Olympics potentially extinct, and that Sochi proves his point:

One of the warmest Winter Olympics in history is getting warmer.

Temperatures reached the low-60s today in Sochi, and they’re expected to stay there on Thursday and Friday. For some perspective, the weather in the coastal resort is now roughly as warm as it was during certaindays of London’s Summer Games in 2012. According to Forecast.io, the average temperature for the Sochi Olympics so far has been 45 degrees Fahrenheit, three degrees lower than the average during the previous Warmest Winter Olympics Ever: the 2010 Vancouver Games. But Sochi’s highs have been higher than Vancouver’s. And Vancouver’s daily average never rose above 50 degrees, while Sochi’s has surpassed that level several times.

All this creates issues. Like mush, which the American snowboarder Shaun White cursedshortly before failing to medal in the relatively cool mountains outside Sochi. Organizers are now compensating for the lack of hard snow with awintery mix of chemicals, water injections, andstrategic snow reserves. Hundreds of snow cannons stand ready in case of emergency.

This week, however, over 100 Olympians, 85 of them American, blamed more than warm weather for the poor conditions. The real culprit, the athletes said in a statement, is climate change—and world leaders better do something about it during climate talks in Paris next year. “Snow conditions are becoming much more inconsistent, weather patterns more erratic, and what was once a topic for discussion is now reality and fact,” U.S. cross-country skier Andrew Newell wrote. “Our climate is changing and we are losing our winters.”

First, let’s start with the inherent assumption that Sochi was a reasonable venue for a Winter Olympics in the first place. It wasn’t, and its selection by the IOC raised eyebrows at the time for this very reason. Russia had to promise that they could keep the slopes snowy in order to win the bid, and so far that’s not been an easy task. While many think Russia is all about snowy winters, especially for those who know the history of large armies marching on Moscow, it might help to see a map of Sochi’s location:

sochi-map

That’s Sochi — at nearly the southernmost part of Russia, on the Black Sea. It’s not Siberia or even Moscow, and it’s not even close. The driving distance between Sochi and Moscow is more than a thousand miles, slightly longer than the distance between Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. It’s roughly the same latitude as southern France, and well below the latitude of London, which Friedman uses as a comparison.

As a quick piece of research demonstrates, the temperatures noted by Friedman for this Olympiad are in fact the average temperature for Sochi at this time of year. The February average for Sochi is 42.8 degrees, and the average daily high is 49, with a low of 37. That’s a pretty poor choice for a Winter Olympics venue that has to rely on a lot of snow sticking to the ground, let alone falling at all. Even London is colder than Sochi on average (41.5 degrees, hi/lo 46.9/36.1). For that matter, so is the 2010 Winter Olympics venue, Vancouver (40.8 degrees, 46.7/34.8), which as Friedman notes was another head-scratching choice by the IOC.

So yes, if the IOC insists on picking warmer-weather sites for its Winter Olympics, then the games will have trouble with snow. Perhaps they should consider the actual climate of their potential sites before picking them in the future. Given that the IOC selected this site, in a region where violent unrest and terrorism are rampant, I’m not too confident that they’ll make better decisions on any basis in the future.

Update: Just for fun, let’s look at the weather conditions today at the last few venues of the Winter Olympics:

  • Vancouver (2010): Hi/lo 47/38, raining (average 46.7/34.8)
  • Turin, Italy (2006): Hi/lo 46/37, raining (average 47.1/30)
  • Salt Lake City, US (2002): Hi/lo 49/39, raining (average 43.2/25.2)
  • Nagano, Japan (1998, using Izuhara): Hi/lo 45/35, windy (average 48/33)
  • Lillehammer, Norway (1994): Hi/lo 34/32, snowing (average 26/18)
  • Albertville, France (1992, using Bourg-Saint-Maurice): Hi/lo 46/32, snowing (average 45.1/26.1)

Basically, all of these venues are sticking close to their averages, with Lillehammer the only one skewing warmer by any significance — and it’s still going to snow tonight in Lillehammer.

Also, I forgot to hat-tip John Ekdahl at Ace for the story.


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Wish we would run out…

OmahaConservative on February 13, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Another global warming proselytizer who can’t get basic facts right. What a shock.

They mentioned during the opening ceremonies that they have PALM TREES in Sochi. But you write for the Atlantic so you’re smarter than everyone else.

Red Cloud on February 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM

ROFL

These fools are incessant.

The next winter Olympiad will be held in Bermuda, and the usual suspects will caterwaul about the lack of snow.

Bishop on February 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Coulda had them in Atlanta this week.

CJ on February 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM

This is like putting the Summer Olympics in Antarctica and then proclaiming that summer games may be no more because, Antarctica!

NotCoach on February 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Hey we did such a good job here in Atlanta hosting the Summer Olympics–when do we get the winter games? This year ATL would have been a better site than Sochi.

radjah shelduck on February 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

BREAKING: Olympic Committee to announce awarding of next Winter Olympics to the Sahara.

Stoic Patriot on February 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM

“Snow conditions are becoming much more inconsistent, weather patterns more erratic, and what was once a topic for discussion is now reality and fact,” U.S. cross-country skier Andrew Newell wrote. “Our climate is changing and we are losing our winters.”

You’re from Vermont, numbnuts. When was the last time you were home, your fellow clayfooters will let you know just where winter is right now.

Red Cloud on February 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM

These are the same folks that laugh at Christian Fundamentalists for believing in a myth.

Hening on February 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM

I love the polar bear face palm.

ConstantineXI on February 13, 2014 at 10:48 AM

This is the same brand of Eurotrash that awards the Nobel Prize, right?

AH, well. At least they all love and respect us again.

Lanceman on February 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Will Sochi be the last Winter Olympics?

That would be nice. The Olympics (summer and winter) are nothing but Eurotrash displays of tribalism that have little to do with sport or competition anymore – and nothing to do with sportsmanship, at all (as the Eurotrash are totally against any and all ideas of sportsmanship).

But … so long as there are trashy nations that love to waste billions building Olympic venues that quickly get mothballed I guess we have to put up with this faux athletic competition every 4 years.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM

I love the polar bear face palm

He just spotted a liberal coming to give him a bear hug.

Wisdom_of_Homer on February 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM

At least Vancouver is in shouting distance of the Cascades and Canadian Rockies. Compared to those, the Caucasus are bumps in the road, hardly conducive to providing a good downhill run.

xkaydet65 on February 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM

To quote Ron Weasly,

How thick could you get?

kenro85 on February 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM

I was interested in the sites in and around Sochi when I first started hearing about the conditions in the hotels there. I had heard it was a resort town and wasn’t expecting to hear all of the complaints regarding accommodations. So I took a tour on Google Maps.

I was surprised to see the palm trees.

BKeyser on February 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM

So when the ice in my drink melts, its not because it happens to be warm outside. The real culprit is climate change…..and we must do something about it.

tommer74 on February 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I can’t wait for the summer Olympics in Rio and for the Atlantic to explain how global warming is making violent crime skyrocket. I wonder if they’ll have rape-free tents in Rio?

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

As a quick piece of research demonstrates, the temperatures noted by Friedman for this Olympiad are in fact the average temperature for Sochi at this time of year.

One of the problems with folks like Friedman is that they have absolutely no ability to feel shame at all. Hence writing complete lies in the hope of supporting their POV has no negative moral consequences for them. So they continue while being cheered on by others like them. Lies are good!

climbnjump on February 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Yes, but maybe global warming causes the IOC to make poor choices about where to have the games. It seems to cause everything else.

SacredFire on February 13, 2014 at 10:57 AM

This is like having the Winter Games in San Antonio TX and just trucking in snow down I-35 from St. Paul, MN.

Wallythedog on February 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

It’s roughly the same latitude as southern France, and well below the latitude of London, which Friedman uses as a comparison.

Everything in service to the Lie.

rbj on February 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM

I had heard it was a resort town

BKeyser on February 13, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Yeah … a summer resort. As the lefty Wikipedophile writes:

According to the 2010 Census, the city had a permanent population of 343,334,[5] up from 328,809 recorded in the 2002 Census,[11] making it Russia’s largest resort city. It is one of the very few places in Russia with a subtropical climate, with warm to hot summers and mild winters.

Following Russia’s loss of the traditionally popular resorts of the Crimean peninsula (transferred away from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev), Sochi emerged as the unofficial summer capital of the country.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM

It’s interesting that you can only blame the weather on climate change when it supports climate change.

MaxColossus on February 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM

…Smart Power!

KOOLAID2 on February 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM

I see the IOC is about as competent when it comes to climate science as the IPCC…

Athos on February 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Interseting to note that Sochi, RU is roughly the same lattitude as Albertville, FR and Turin, IT, neither of which faced the same weather issues.

HornHiAceDeuce on February 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Given that the IOC selected this site, in a region where violent unrest and terrorism are rampant, I’m not too confident that they’ll make better decisions on any basis in the future.

Of course they will! They will require a *much* bigger bribe before picking this poor a location next time!

GWB on February 13, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Maybe Chicago should have gone for the 2016 Winter Olympics rather than he summer. I don’t think the Midwest is lacking for winter this year…

besser tot als rot on February 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

I hear the Puerto Rico is being considered for the next winter olympics…

right2bright on February 13, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Damn near the same latitude as Capri. Isn’t that like worrying about the warm winter months in Georgia (any year other than this, that is)?

crrr6 on February 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

I can’t wait for the summer Olympics in Rio

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 13, 2014 at 10:56 AM

You understand they would have to be in January, right?

GWB on February 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Of all the snow joints in all the towns in all the world, they have to pick this one.

Coming next: The Brazzaville Winter Olympics. Woot!

No Truce With Kings on February 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Maybe Chicago should have gone for the 2016 Winter Olympics rather than he summer. I don’t think the Midwest is lacking for winter this year…

besser tot als rot on February 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Yeah, those Illinois/Chicago mountains are beautiful this time of the year…Mt. Charles Mound being the highest at 374 meters, what a sight!!

right2bright on February 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM

They should have held the Olympic games on Rura Penthe.

portlandon on February 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM

This week, however, over 100 Olympians, 85 of them American, blamed more than warm weather for the poor conditions.The real culprit, the athletes said in a statement, is climate change—and world leaders better do something about it during climate talks in Paris next year.

Please release the full list of names so that I can root against them.

crrr6 on February 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Sochi has freak’in palm trees, what winter town has palm trees…here from just a couple of day ago, these are participants walking along Sochi.

right2bright on February 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Interseting to note that Sochi, RU is roughly the same lattitude as Albertville, FR and Turin, IT, neither of which faced the same weather issues.

HornHiAceDeuce on February 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Latitude isn’t the only variable that matters. Immediate proximity to large bodies of relatively warm water – such as how Sochi is located – has a moderating effect on winter temps.

Why don’t you compare average January temps for Anchorage, Alaska with Whitehorse, YK (both about 60 degrees North) so see if you can discern any difference there at all.

climbnjump on February 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

You understand they would have to be in January, right?

GWB on February 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Don’t tell, me, tell the IOC, who planned those Olympics for the Rio winter during August.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

At least Vancouver is in shouting distance of the Cascades and Canadian Rockies. Compared to those, the Caucasus are bumps in the road, hardly conducive to providing a good downhill run.

xkaydet65 on February 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Not really. The highest mountain in the Caucasus range is Gora Elbrus at 18,510 feet, which is much higher than Mount Rainier’s 14,411 feet.

There are also reports that Slovenia, about a thousand miles to the west along the Adriatic Sea, got hit with a huge ice storm. If the snow is too slushy in Suchi, wait a few days, it will be back!

People need to realize that weather extremes are due to winds, and if one part of the Northern Hemisphere is unusually warm in winter due to subtropical air blowing northward, this must be balanced by polar air blowing southward somewhere else. If the Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City THIS year, there would not be enough snow–January was very dry here, and February has been wet but mild (upper 40′s) so far. Meanwhile, the East Coast as far south as the Carolinas and Georgia has been clobbered by heavy snow and ice.

What goes up must come down, and what goes north must come south.

Steve Z on February 13, 2014 at 11:17 AM

“Snow conditions are becoming much more inconsistent, weather patterns more erratic, and what was once a topic for discussion is now reality and fact,” U.S. cross-country skier Andrew Newell wrote.

 
He’s not even thirty years old yet. History began the moment these people were born.
 

LONG TERM TRENDS PEOPLE!!
 
lostmotherland on February 13, 2014 at 10:02 AM

rogerb on February 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Yeah, those Illinois/Chicago mountains are beautiful this time of the year…Mt. Charles Mound being the highest at 374 meters, what a sight!!

right2bright on February 13, 2014 at 11:12 AM

That’s a shovel ready project, innit?!

besser tot als rot on February 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

That’s a shovel ready project, innit?!

besser tot als rot on February 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Meh. All they have to do is stop collecting trash in Chicago for a couple of weeks and there will be mountains aplenty, all snow-covered in the winter, too :)

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 13, 2014 at 11:20 AM

A new Winter Olympics Sport was introduced in Sochi this year: Snow Volleyball.

portlandon on February 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM

As a quick piece of research demonstrates, the temperatures noted by Friedman for this Olympiad are in fact the average temperature for Sochi at this time of year.

There’s a few other stats listed at that webpage that are informative. I’ll just note two:

Average number of days below 32F in February = 7.

Average number of days with snow in February = 3.

Dusty on February 13, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Maybe they can turn the luge and bobsled runs into water slides- like on those cruise line commercials.

justltl on February 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Please release the full list of names so that I can root against them.

crrr6 on February 13, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Athlete signers:
Andy Newell United States
Sophie Caldwell United States
Ida Sargent United States
Erik Bjornsen United States
Noah Hoffman United States
Simi Hamilton United States
Jessie Diggins United States
Callan Chythlook-Sifsof United States
Katie Ryan United States
Lindsay Van United States
Dylan Fergusen United States
Alex Deibold United States
Brace Bennett United States
Bryan Fletcher United States
Wiley Maple United States
Lila Lapanja United States
NIck Hendrickson United States
Brett Denney United States
Madison Gorelik United States
Alison Lee United States
Taylor Fletcher United States
Tyler Smith United States
Michael Ward United States
Adam Loomis United States
Joe Swensson United States
Brant Crossan United States
Liz Stephen United States
Jenna Feldman United States
Ian Griffith United States
Abby Ghent United States
Arielle Gold United States
Tyler Gold United States
Chris Klebl United States
Kikkan Randall United States
Bettina Gruber Switzerland
Astrid Jacobsen Norway
Nate Holland United States
Kjersti Buaas Norway
kaitlyn farrington United States
Arielle Gold United States
Bryan Fletcher United States
Nick Hendrickson United States
Michael Ward United States
Susan Dunklee United States
Sara Studebaker United States
Edward Dombroski United States
Barb Saxe United States
Kadri Lehtla Estonia
Caroline Grace United States
Sylvan Ellefson United States
Grete Gaim Estonia
Rosanna Crawford Canada
Lydia Lassila Australia
Michael Jones United States
Nigel Spratt Australia
Silvia Duman Australia
Sadie Bjornsen United States
Sarah Ainsworth United Kingdom
Laura Dahlmeier Germany
Lowell Bailey United States
Annelies Cook United States
Lauren Miles United States
Catherine Guglielmo United States
David Zabek United States
Jessica Jerome United States
Alissa Johnson United States
Nina Lussi United States
Abby Hughes United States
Atsuko Tanaka Canada
Taylor Henrich Canada
David Newell United States
Lilla Fortunoff United States
Hannah Dreissigacker United States
Tim Burke United States
Julien Lizeroux France
vibeke skofterud Norway
Anna Haag Sweden
Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess United States
Brian Gregg United States
Dasha Gaiazova Canada
Elena Runggaldier Italy
Zachary Caldwell United States
David Paarlberg-Kvam United States
Sarah Holton United States
Kris Dobie United States
Rob Russell United States
Ed Luban United States
Matt Muir United States
Lise Grottenberg Norway
Thomas Wisdom United States
Sam Pratico United States
Koby Gordon United States
Marine Dusser United States
Asa Chalmers United States
Lori Horn United States
Mike Pratico United States
Sarah Willis United States
Gretchen Bleiler United States
Danny Davis United States
Faye Gulini United States
Spencer Davis United States
Elena Hight United States
Chanelle Sladics United States
Sam Bliss United States

- See more at: http://protectourwinters.org/newell-2890#sthash.Vmv5qd4d.VpWS9skX.dpuf

Patriot Vet on February 13, 2014 at 11:56 AM

To be fair, Sochi is at roughly the same latitude as Monaco, Toronto Canada, Portland Maine, and Boise Idaho – which all have fairly cold winters.
BUT, Sochi is on the east side of the Black Sea and therefore has more of a Mediterranean elevation and climate.

The “globull warming” BS is just that – BS. Ask anyone in the southern US, which is at a significantly lower latitude than Sochi, what they think right now about winter disappearing….

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

A new Winter Olympics Sport was introduced in Sochi this year: Snow Volleyball.

portlandon on February 13, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Sounds like a good one.
My wife has been complaining about there being women’s hockey this year – she doesn’t like it. I told her she’s sexist, and then added maybe if they had the girls play hockey in bikinis more people would watch it…
And given the weather in Sochi, they probably could…..

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Don’t tell, me, tell the IOC, who planned those Olympics for the Rio winter during August.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Someone from the northern hemisphere who doesn’t understand how the seasons work (i.e. climate) in the different hemispheres.
Probably also globull warmists – who don’t understand the first thing about climate (redundant, right?).

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Why not hold them in the Detroit area? Detroit has shattered their snowfall records for this winter. And an influx of cash could do great things for their financial solvency, boosting standing, bringing in a lot of businesses.

William Teach on February 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM

My backyard in CT is amazing…almost completely whited out as I type…and the flakes are getting bigger and more remarkable. Our electricity is still on, as all our leaves are gone so the trees aren’t falling, but the snow, er…global warming, is up to our lowish window sills!!! Our town is OUT of its salt and molasses mixture. We are all cocooned at home.

Long as we don’t have a medical emergency with my MIL, we are good. It’s absolutely gorgeous. All we need is a roaring fire and the famous “snow in Connecticut” is pretty much a fait accompli.

It’s almost too snowy here for a winter Olympics! After last week’s accumulated snow, we are well above two feet now. Wow, just wow.

marybel on February 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Captain Renault: What in heaven’s name brought you to Sochi?

Rick: My health. I came to Sochi for the snows.

Captain Renault: The snow? What snow? We’re a Black Sea summer resort.

Rick: I was misinformed.

No Truce With Kings on February 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM

It’s not like Russia is short on snow. Siberia comes to mind. Geesh we’ve joked for years that we want to put Dallas up for the winter olympics. After this Sochi debacle hey why not!

neyney on February 13, 2014 at 12:08 PM

haha
#geography

ted c on February 13, 2014 at 12:09 PM

To be fair, Sochi is at roughly the same latitude as Monaco, Toronto Canada, Portland Maine, and Boise Idaho – which all have fairly cold winters.
dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Monaco was a late add – no Monaco is not known for it’s winters, I don’t think… My mistake….
My chief editor is being fired now….

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Hello what about Siberia? We’ve joked for years that Dallas needs to put in a bid for the Winter Olympics. That seems reasonable after Sochi. I think we are on roughly the same latitude. As for Sochi proving global warming nonsense. It proves Olympic officials are open to bribery and graft. Put simply, Putin greased their palms and they looked the other way when they saw Palm trees and sand at a supposed winter venue.

neyney on February 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Religious fanatics.

John the Libertarian on February 13, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Here in Michigan, the news people are usually so excited to report the weather when it first goes below zero. Winter survival tidbits and bring your pets indoors and only go out if you absolutely have to…. They started the season all hysterical…the first few times….now its met with a yawn during the weather report halfway through the news.

Coldest winter I can remember here. But it is supposed to go above freezing this weekend!! See the earth IS warming!!!

jjjdad on February 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Don’t tell, me, tell the IOC, who planned those Olympics for the Rio winter during August.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM

*FACEPALM*
(Admittedly, Rio has nice weather (comparably speaking) year-round. But, still – August in Rio? Oy vey.)

GWB on February 13, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Hello what about Siberia? We’ve joked for years that Dallas needs to put in a bid for the Winter Olympics. That seems reasonable after Sochi. I think we are on roughly the same latitude. As for Sochi proving global warming nonsense. It proves Olympic officials are open to bribery and graft. Put simply, Putin greased their palms and they looked the other way when they saw Palm trees and sand at a supposed winter venue.

neyney on February 13, 2014 at 12:14 PM

See my comment above – Sochi is about the same latitude as Portland Maine and Toronto Canada – a bit further north than Dallas.
But – ya – many other places in Russia would have been a better choice for winter olympics than their most southern resort.

And given that the next summer olympics will be in Rio in the middle of their winter, it’s clear olympic executives have no clue about real climate around the world.

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Just another reason not to watch the olympics this year.

jukin3 on February 13, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Coldest winter I can remember here. But it is supposed to go above freezing this weekend!! See the earth IS warming!!!

jjjdad on February 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM

We’ve had lots of cold and snow so far here in Colorado, more than usual over the last few years, but due to be in the 60s over the next few days.

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 12:22 PM

*FACEPALM*
(Admittedly, Rio has nice weather (comparably speaking) year-round. But, still – August in Rio? Oy vey.)

GWB on February 13, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Ya, my first thought too, but just looked at an average weather table for Rio. In August their average daily temp dips all the way down to 73 degrees F.
So, summer games in Rio during their winter should still work out better than the winter games in Sochi – weather-wise.

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 12:26 PM

In the 80s I visited Yalta, which is in the same general area on the Black Sea, though on the other side of the Crimean peninsula. It’s now in the nation of Ukraine but in Soviet days it was where the Soviets built dachas to get away from cold weather. Duh.

juliesa on February 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

BTW, the toilet at the main tourist attraction in Yalta was a hole in the floor. That was the first time I ever saw that, and I had traveled in Mexico.

juliesa on February 13, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Move the Winter Olympics to Hoth and add combat skiing as an event!

malclave on February 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Well.

If 100 professional snowboarders and 20-somethings who spent their free time practicing double-axels assert that Climate Change is real, then it MUST be so.

orangemtl on February 13, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Patriot Vet on February 13, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Four of those signed twice.

Arielle Gold
Bryan Fletcher
Michael Ward
NIck Hendrickson

agmartin on February 13, 2014 at 1:29 PM

i live in nc. they can have the winter olympics in my backyard!!

Sachiko on February 13, 2014 at 1:30 PM

- See more at: http://protectourwinters.org/newell-2890#sthash.Vmv5qd4d.VpWS9skX.dpuf

Patriot Vet on February 13, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Wow. Overwhelmingly American. Who says we don’t do a good job indoctrinating educating our youth?

Nice to see the US educational system ranks first in something.

CJ on February 13, 2014 at 1:39 PM

I’d like to see some Southern Hemisphere Olympics. Yes, it would be odd watching Bobsled racing in July, but there’s no good reason (other than “it’s never been done before”) not to. I can think of about a dozen suitable locations in Chile alone.

Rusty Nail on February 13, 2014 at 1:48 PM

I think the Sahara is a great place to have the winter olympics. Maybe they can ice skate inside a volcano just so they have a picture they can blame on further climate change/global warming/stupid liberal word of the day.

Then they’ll have a problem for the summer olympics. Do they hold them at the south pole, or in a desert in the middle of Saudi Arabia?

A liberal would only have to ask themselves; ‘which would look more stupid?’, then do that.

Diluculo on February 13, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Geography is hard

HughJass on February 13, 2014 at 2:04 PM

The Alpine events aren’t being held in Sochi but inland and up the mountains north and east of Sochi. Does it really matter that it’s 60 degrees when you walk from one ice arena to another to watch figure or speed skating?

HornHiAceDeuce on February 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

The Alpine events aren’t being held in Sochi but inland and up the mountains north and east of Sochi. Does it really matter that it’s 60 degrees when you walk from one ice arena to another to watch figure or speed skating?

HornHiAceDeuce on February 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Doesn’t matter much for events in indoor ice arenas.
But for the outdoor events, Krasnaya Polyana is only 39 km from a very warm coastline, the base elevation is about 1500 feet, top of the mountain is about 7000 feet, and for February the average min/max temperatures are 40/50 degrees F.

In comparison, Vail Colorado has a base elevation of 8120 ft and the top of the mountain is at 11,570 feet, and the February average min/max temperatures are 9/33 degrees F.

So which of those 2 places would be more appropriate for outdoor winter olympics events?

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM

I was exaggerating as I realize that Dallas and Sochi are not on the same latitude. My larger point is that just as it would be ridiculous to hold the winter Olympics in Dallas, it was stupid to have it in Sochi. A mild winter climate is not the right place for this. Graft and corruption brought this about. Its dangerous to have these athletes competing on such rough surfaces. I agree with Shawn White, that venue was horrible. Whoever on the IOC approved this needs to be prosecuted.

neyney on February 13, 2014 at 2:37 PM

HornHiAceDeuce on February 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Yes, Albertville and Turin are roughly the same latitude, but Sochi has the influence of the Black Sea in its proximity which moderates the temperature. Also, those first cities are at higher elevations, hence, more snow.

Decoski on February 13, 2014 at 2:46 PM

The Alpine events aren’t being held in Sochi but inland and up the mountains north and east of Sochi.

HornHiAceDeuce on February 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

And that is where they are not having any snow. (Well, one place.)

GWB on February 13, 2014 at 2:50 PM

neyney on February 13, 2014 at 2:37 PM

I had to go look on a map for myself to see what latitude Sochi was actually at, and how it compared to parts of the US. Given what we normally see/hear/picture about typical Mediteranean weather (and the Black Sea is fairly comparable), it’s not exactly intuitive to picture the European coast of the Med as comparable in latitude to New England and lower Canada.

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Yes, Albertville and Turin are roughly the same latitude, but Sochi has the influence of the Black Sea in its proximity which moderates the temperature. Also, those first cities are at higher elevations, hence, more snow.

Decoski on February 13, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Exactly. Latitude is not the only factor in determining the typical weather patterns.
And as I indicated above, a ski area where the average LOW temp for the month is well above freezing (40 degrees) is NOT an ideal location for ski type events.

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Q: What is the warmest city in Canada?

A: Vancouver.

The obvious choice for a Winter Olympics.

Hucklebuck on February 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Will Sochi be the last Winter Olympics? Has the Earth run out of snow? Readers on the east coast may find this essay from The Atlantic’s Ian Freidman a little ironic today, but he warned just as the snowstorm hit the entire East Coast that global warming was making the Winter Olympics potentially extinct, and that Sochi proves his point:

So, schedule the winter games at a location not exactly known for being cold, then claim the lack of snow proves global warming.

Brilliant!

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM

So, schedule the winter games at a location not exactly known for being cold, then claim the lack of snow proves global warming.

Brilliant!

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM

How about Maui next?
Mount Haleakela does occasionally get snow….

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Hard to get closer to the Equator and still be in Russia.

bmmg39 on February 13, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Let’s hold ice-and-snow competitions in the world’s largest ice-and-snow nation.

Ok, there’s merit to that, even if that nation still treats its people worse than North Koreans treat their dogs.

Now here’s a great idea, let’s hold those ice-and-snow games in that ice-and-snow nation’s warmest city.

But they don’t stay cold enough for ice-and-snow sports.

No problem, we’ll store billions of cubic feet of snow all year long, several hundred miles away, in refrigerated warehouses, that we’ll bring in by truck just in time to cover the slopes.

Won’t that be insanely expensive, when you could just site the games where the snow will be dependable?

But this is our most gorgeous tourist city, where we will make the strongest impression of Russian excellence to the ignorant world.

Oh, ok. And that will cost how much?

Who cares? The State is paying for everything. It will be perfect, because President Putin.

Freelancer on February 14, 2014 at 10:07 AM