In addition to the pandemic, Olympic athletes are struggling with another threat to public health: extreme heat. This year’s summer The Olympics are prognosis be the hottest for decades. Temperatures are expected to rise above 30 degrees Celsius (close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit) this week, and even the strongest athletes may be at risk for heat stroke or illness. They also have to fight oppressive humidity, which interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature by sweating over scorching heat.
Athletes have tried to adapt to the weather before the games. For example, the U.S. team even took inspiration from how the U.S. military gets soldiers ready for the desert. Washington Post. The training program may include the use of a sweater and beanie when training in the summer heat. The Canadian women’s rowing team trained indoors and turned the heat all the way to 35 degrees Celsius inside the sports dome at the Canadian Pacific Sports Facility in Victoria. CBC.
Training is cruel, and the conditions in which athletes train are dangerous Washington Post points out:
In seeking advantage, the USOPC must also protect athletes from heat stroke, dehydration, and other conditions caused by excessive strain. Top athletes are at acute risk of suffering from these conditions. They distinguish themselves from their ability to train and compete through the discomfort that would cause others to quit. In extreme heat, such toughness can change from admirable to life-threatening.
Heat waves and heat-related diseases are on the rise as a result of man-made climate change. In Tokyo last year, 4,759 people were in need of emergency transportation due to a thermal illness in July and August. This is thousands more than in the same period in 2008, when there were only 905 (Reuters there are useful visualizations of the magnitude of the problem).
We can see similar ones Stateside. Last month, the Northwest Pacific struggled with extreme temperatures in the region, leading to a huge increase in emergency clinics. The heatwave at the end of June disrupted the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, where races were delayed. Seven rival Taliyah Brooks fainted before the javelin throw and had to be taken off the field in a wheelchair.
Some of the events have been moved this year from Tokyo to nearby Sapporo, where the temperature is typically a little cooler. But experts warn that athletes must continue to prepare for hotter temperatures.
“I think we are definitely approaching the danger zone,” said UK Olympic rower Melissa Wilson recently report The British Association for Sustainable Sport has told how heat can affect the 2021 Olympics. In the Tokyo 2019 trials, three rowers had already demanded medical treatment for heat exhaustion, according to the report. “It’s a horrible moment when you see athletes crossing the line, their bodies flee back out of complete exhaustion and then don’t get up.”