Skiing The cause of the sand problem, which amazed Iivo Niska as well, became clear: “There is enough fun in the combination of the African sun and the Siberian wind”

Fear The sand coming from the Gobi Desert has preoccupied skiers ahead of the Beijing Olympics. Last winter, the wind blew a decent sand cloud over the Zhangjiakou Olympic Games, and the sand is still unavoidable.

After Thursday’s practice run, the Finnish ski star Iivo Niskanen wondered In an interview with Ilta-Sanomat the dirtiness of his skis, even though visually the snow looked clean.

This time, the culprit is not a sandstorm, but the construction work in the area, says a member of the ski team’s maintenance team. Teemu Lemmettylä.

The wind has transported very fine sand dust to the trails, which rises to the surface of the trail due to the sun’s rays in the same way as it does during the spring heat in Southern Finland.

“Some dirt also flies with the wind,” says Lemmettylä.

Zhangjiakou is located at 40 latitude, the same height as Naples. Although there is enough frost, the sun shines from the cloudless sky for much of the winter on the Olympic slopes at an altitude of 1,800 meters. The surface of the snow is also consumed by the continental wind from Siberia.

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Similar conditions existed at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. At that time, skiing was also possible in the mountains and at latitudes a few degrees further south.

However, the situation is not as bad as at the Seefeld World Championships in 2019, for example.

“The frost is affecting.”

Skiing on the Zhangjiakou trails is good in the winter, as it is -15 days from frost and the temperature does not rise to a plus during the day.

“As such, there is plenty of fun in this combination of the African sun and the Siberian wind,” Lemmettylä concludes.

Read more: Classic skiing or desert sand on the piste – That’s what the Beijing Olympics are all about

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