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15 degrees and even higher: how heat affects athletes

When you think of the Winter Games, freezing cold and heavy snow comes to mind. There can be no doubt about that at the Beijing Paralympics, especially in the mountainous regions north of the city, where temperatures have soared to 16 degrees in recent days.

“Maybe it would be good if we got back to real winter sports regions in the near future,” said biathlete Anja Wicker. “It was very summery in the last two Paralympic Games.”

These “water games”, as DBS president Beucher calls the games in these conditions, stand out, especially when compared to the Olympics, where temperatures in China sometimes dropped to minus 25 degrees.

Some consequences of high temperatures are obvious: roads are more difficult to drive when the snow is slushy or even icy. But this also increases the risk of injury and for those who are not used to competitions in these conditions, the chances of a medal decrease.

“The trails didn’t last. It’s very muddy. It goes great in the shade, then you go out in the sun and it gets so slow you almost hit the brakes,” Wicker said.

Conditions in Sochi and Pyeongchang were also less than ideal. (With dpa material)




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