By Greg Hanscom
What happens at the Winter Olympics without winter? Imagine Sage Kotsenburg trying to pull off the Holy Crail over a course made of concrete, or cross-country skiers running to a dusty finish line. Triple axels on rollerblades? Make the pain stop! Vanishing snow is no joke to Olympic athletes, and they’re calling on world leaders to do something to stop the climate catastrophe that could spell doom for winter sports.
More than 100 Olympians signed on to a statement, released Tuesday, asking leaders to “recognize climate change by reducing emissions, embracing clean energy, and preparing a commitment to a global agreement at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris 2015.”
The statement, called “An Olympian’s Call for Climate Action,” was spearheaded by cross-country skier and three-time Olympian Andy Newell, who placed 18th in the Men’s Sprint in Sochi, top among the Americans. Its backers come from from every winter discipline, and while 85 members of the U.S. team make up the bulk of signees, representatives of Australia, Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. make a stand, too.