Climate change: Athletes noticing the danger of manmade snow

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FILE – Germany’s Tim Tscharnke falls in front of Russia’s Nikita Kriukov, right, after making contact with the skis of Finland’s Sami Jauhojaervi in the men’s classical-style final of the cross-country team sprint competitions at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 19, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Olympic and World Cup race organizers are already used to needing snow-making equipment to create a ribbon of white through the forests as natural snowfall becomes less reliable. Skiers and experts say manmade snow has a higher moisture content, making it ice up quickly.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, File)

Many top Nordic skiers and biathletes say crashes are becoming more common as climate change reduces the availability of natural snow, forcing racers to compete on tracks with the manmade version.

Olympic and World Cup race organizers are already used to needing snow-making equipment to create a ribbon of white through the forests as natural snowfall becomes less reliable. Skiers and experts say manmade snow has a higher moisture content, making it ice up quickly.

They say race organizers should take that into consideration when designing courses in order to make the sports safer.

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