Olympians take on politics as they fear climate change is hurting their sport

“For these Olympic athletes—outdoor recreation is not just an avocation; it’s a vocation.” – Sen. Michael Bennet.

(CNN)Five Winter Olympians have traded in the slopes for briefing rooms to urge Congress to take action on climate change.

As global temperatures continue to rise, snowboarder Arielle Gold, along with skiers David Wise, Jessie Diggins, Stacey Cook and biathlete Maddie Phaneuf, traveled to Capitol Hill this week to brief lawmakers on how climate change is a growing threat to winter sports and outdoor recreation.

Gold, who showed up to the briefing wearing an arm sling, said she attributes her injury to the conditions in Sochi, Russia, where temperatures were 50-60 degrees and athletes were not able to practice because the course would fall apart due to the warm temperatures. She said the lack of practice led to a crash, which highlights how climate change has contributed to the reduction of snowpack and affected the safety and future of winter sports.

Olympic gold medalists highlight the dangers climate change brings to winter sports, as they urge Congress to take action.
Olympic gold medalists highlight the dangers climate change brings to winter sports, as they urge Congress to take action.

The Sochi Olympics was “one of the worst events I’ve ever had. They were spraying blue chemicals on the halfpipe to try to keep it frozen. It’s unlikely that city will ever be able to host the Winter Olympics again,” Gold said. The Sochi Games were in 2014, but Gold’s injury has continued to be a problem, and she had…

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