Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics sprayed artificial snowfall at 25°C (77F) in order to keep spectators cool and comfortable when the Games take place next summer.
About 300 kilograms of artificial snow was sprayed over stands at the Sea Forest Waterway venue. The goal was to see if it could lower heat and humidity levels.
Tokyo regularly sees temperatures of 35C and 80% humidity in July, prompting concerns that spectators could suffer heatstroke. So on Friday, members of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee filled the stands for a five-minute snow machine trial, during a test event for the canoe sprints.
The temperature there was 25.1 °C before the snow and exactly the same afterwards. Organisers said that the result was “not as expected” but said the snow had other merits. “The advantage of this machine is having a spray device to help the audience feel refreshed – and the amusement factor.”
Sea Forest Waterway will host Olympic and Paralympic rowing and canoeing events.
The snow machines make snow by crushing ice and mixing it with air, and can cover an area of 15m (49ft) in windy conditions. The cost of the machine is not being disclosed as yet.
More tests would be conducted to firmly decide the use artificial snow.
In the summer of 2018 about 65 people suffered heat-related deaths and in July 2019, more than 5,000 people were hospitalised due to severe heatwave.
Source : Various