No snow for the Games? Olympian says fake flakes can give athletes an edge

Jan 25, 2022, 5:05 PM
real snow fake snow...
BEIJING, CHINA - JANUARY 25: Shougang Big Air, where some competitions of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be held, is seen behind a fence delimitating the area not accessible to the general public, at Shougang Park, on January 25, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The 2022 Beijing Winter Games are set to begin without actual snow. But two-time Olympian and U.S. Ski Hall of Famer, Trace Worthington says artificial snow is not always a bad thing for athletes.

He joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic to talk about what fake flakes mean for athletes competing in the Games set to begin Feb. 3. 

Is manmade snow trickier to compete on than the real thing?

“No not at all,” Worthington told Debbie. “It’s actually a more consistent base for a lot of the athletes, depending on maybe what your discipline is.”

He added the consistency of artificial snow makes the snow texture predictable, which is helpful in selecting the right wax.

Related: Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The Fake Beijing Olympic Games

“Some of the natural snow mixed in over time or throughout the Games makes it tricky — for the outdoor venues anyway,” Worthington said.

For ski jumping, he said artificial snow can be added to make the aerial landing hill deeper.

“What’s it like for the downhill racers? Are they just skiing on ice?” Dave asked.

“When you see an event over in Europe  . . .  we think it’s all natural snow. They’re actually injecting a lot of water into those courses because the natural snow is way too soft,” said Worthington.

Many Olympic surfaces are manufactured

For indoor events like hockey, figure skating, curling, and long- and short-track speed skating, the athletes can plan better and get adjusted to the manufactured surface more quickly because it is more predictable than natural snow.

“I was on a call yesterday with the head coach of the US snowboard cross team,” Worthington said. “He’s like, ‘Yeah, we can’t wait to get over there. We have three different wax techs. We’re going to check out the air temperature, the snow texture.’ . . . They seem to like the consistency of it.”

“Are you excited for the games? I know I am. I look forward to Winter Games like I look forward to Christmas when I was a kid,” Debbie said.

“Oh, I’m psyched,” Worthington said.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Las Vegas pushes to become first to ban ornamental grass...
Curt Gresseth

Fight the drought, install artificial turf. Landscape expert shares advice.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s ongoing, historic drought and water restrictions in your city have turned your green lawn yellow. You’ve contemplated planting native grasses and shrubs, but you want a covering you can walk and play on. Why not install artificial turf?  Landscape expert Bill Holland joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic […]
2 days ago
buffalo shooter...
Becky Bruce and Mark Jones

Former U.S. Attorney says shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict

Shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict, says John Huber, former U.S. District Attorney for the District of Utah.
3 days ago
children at work Utah...
Curt Gresseth

In some instances, children as young as age 10 can work in Utah

Children as young as 10 are legally allowed to work in Utah. A spokesman for the Utah Labor Commission shares the rules for child workers in the state.
3 days ago
supermoon lunar eclipse map...
Curt Gresseth

Be over the moon because total lunar eclipse coming Sunday to Utah

Patrick Wiggins, NASA solar system ambassador to Utah, explains what a total lunar eclipse is and when it can be witnessed Sunday night in Utah -- provided the skies are clear.
6 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Inflation is latest challenge South Salt Lake restaurant taking in stride.

The general manager of the Left Fork Grill, a restaurant in South Salt Lake, sits down to talk about the eatery's tale of survival in overcoming inflation, COVID, supply- chain strain, a worker shortage and neighborhood construction.
7 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Utah woman shares how she erased $20,000 in credit-card debt in less than 2 years

By extreme saving and working side hustles, a Utah woman found a way to get out from under $20,200 in credit-card debt. She explains how.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
No snow for the Games? Olympian says fake flakes can give athletes an edge