15 degrees and even hotter – how heat affects athletes
When you think of winter sports, cold winters and heavy snowfall come to mind. There can be no question of it at the Paralympics in Beijing – especially not in the mountainous regions north of the city, where temperatures have climbed as much as 16 degrees in the past few days.
“Maybe it would be nice if we went to real winter sports fields again in the near future,” said biathlete Anja Wicker. “The last two Paralympics were very hot.”
These “water sports”, as DBS president Beucher calls the Games under these conditions, are especially in comparison to the Olympic Games, where temperatures in China sometimes drop to minus 25 degrees.
Some of the consequences of higher temperatures are obvious: it is more difficult to drive a route when the snow is wet or icy. But it also increases the risk of injury and reduces the chances of a medal for those who are not used to competitions in these conditions.
“The mark doesn’t last. Too muddy. It goes on really well in the shade, then you get into the sun and it slows down so much that you almost slam on the brakes,” Vickers said.
Things were less than ideal in Sochi and Pyeongchang as well. (with material from DPA)
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