U.S. Olympic Team BRINGING Air Conditioning Units to Paris 2024 Games

The U.S. Olympic team and other national delegations are making arrangements to bring portable air conditioning units with them to Paris for the 2024 Olympics. It was an about-face from the city’s effort to have cooler but zero-residue-from-carbon hotels.

U.S. Olympics CEO Sarah Hirshland said “As you can imagine, this is a period of time in which consistency and predictability is critical for Team USA’s performance. In our conversations with athletes, this was a very high priority and something that the athletes felt was a critical component in their performance capability.”

In Paris, though, innovative methods will be used to ensure there is no excessive heat with cold water being pumped through the floors in the Olympic village and fans being given to athletes. The moves are part of a wider effort to lessen the environmental impact of the Games.

Yet, even with those endeavors, the US is not the only country planning to bring some additional cooling equipment. Germany is also looking to send portable air conditioning units, meanwhile similar efforts are being prepared by Australia, Italy, Canada, and Britain. The combined action underscores a sharp tension between trying to milk out every last ounce of athletic excellence and meeting our environmental sustainability aims.

Generally, Europeans have a different relationship with air conditioning than the rest of the world. This is, in part, because most people in Europe are used to living without it; European cities average closer to the poles and some have cool coastal climates. A prime example – one of Europe’s most southern big cities, Rome, is actually at a more northern latitude than New York City. A long-term estimate expects less than 1 in every 10 homes in Paris to have air conditioning.

Critics have slammed the move by these countries to carry cooling units. The Associated Press charges these nations with abetting a “reluctance to give up the good life for the sake of environmentalism.” But representatives of the delegations in question have stood by their decision to walk out.

Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Strath Gordon defended the program, saying the Olympics is a “high-performance environment”. “An Olympic place comes around once in a life-time for many of the sports people,” Lough says, “which is why they will all be keen to produce their best ever performance. I get that and it further reinforces how much a perfect environment is needed for athletes capable of this moment they have spent their lives training for.”

As the Olympics draw closer, it almost certainly won’t be the last flashpoint in the ongoing battle between what athletes want now and what needs to happen environmentally in the years to come.

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