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Cold Snow Ruining Skis

Cold Snow Ruining Skis

Did you know that cold weather and snow can actually mess up your skis? It sounds absurd and counterintuitive, but apparently, that’s exactly what’s been happening to the Alpine competitors during PyeongChang 2018: the Winter Olympics are so cold that they’re ruining athletes’ skis.

LegalGamblingUSA was wondering how is this possible? After all, skis are made to be used in the cold and on snow, so why would these Winter Games be any different from prior editions in similar conditions? Well, it’s that “similar conditions” bit that’s the big problem: The weather on the Alpine courses at this year’s Games has been...uncooperative. Many of the Alpine events have been continuously delayed due to gale force winds, and several other events have been plagued by unusual snow conditions.

Because of the sub-zero temperatures in PyeongChang during these Winter Olympics, the man-made snow covering the competitive slopes is crystallizing more rigidly than usual. Austrian Alpine GOAT Marcel Hirscher has seen this sort of thing before, and he explains:

“Every run is a different pair of skis, but it’s not because of hard conditions but the cold conditions. Snow crystals get really sharp when temperatures go to -20 degrees and the base [of the skis] burns. It’s the same as lighting fire and burning your base because the snow crystals get such sharp edges.”

While the damage done to skis exposed to such conditions might seem minimal to casual skiers, for top-level Olympians, any added drag, friction, or damage to the ski-snow interface could be catastrophic when it comes to medaling. Remember, the Alpine events are often decided by fractions of a second, so it is imperative that the athletes’ skis are as pristine as possible come race day. Of course, given that these skis cost several thousand dollars a pair, the teams likely aren’t just “throwing them away,” as many news outlets have reported. Maybe they’ll be auctioned off after the Games, so you can own a piece of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics history!