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Few Canadian cities cold enough to host future Winter Olympics

Vancouver Olympics Alpine Skiing

Michal Walchhofer of Austria is airborne during training for the men’s downhill on Feb. 11, 2010. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, in Vancouver, men’s downhill skiing at Whistler was postponed because of poor weather conditions including heavy fog and temperatures above freezing. (Alessandro Trovati/Associated Press)

Climate change could turn out to be the Winter Olympics’ biggest spoil sport.

A research study led by geography professor Daniel Scott at the University of Waterloo says the number of places that will be cold enough to host a Winter Olympics is dropping.

In Canada, Calgary and Edmonton are realistically the last ones standing as cold enough options for future Winter Olympics.

Vancouver already had warm weather woes when it hosted the games in 2010, and by 2080 Scott’s study says the average daily temperature there will be 4 C higher.

The study shows every city that has previously hosted the winter Olympics is warmer during the February Olympic period than it was when they hosted the games, and by the middle of the century only 11 of them will still be cold enough to reliably host the games again.

The good news is Pyeongchang, South Korea, which will host the 23rd winter games next month, is on that list which should leave athletes competing far happier than they were among the slushy ice and bare mountains of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia four years ago.

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