Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers test snow machine to beat the heat

Fri 13 Sep 2019 09:24 GMT | 13:24 Local Time

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It was 25C (77F) in Tokyo, but snow fell in well-ordered flurries at a canoeing event in the Japanese capital, BBC News reported.

It wasn't freak weather, but the latest innovation being tested by 2020 Olympics organisers hoping to keep spectators cool and comfortable when the Games take place next summer.

Around 300kg (47st) of artificial snow was sprayed over stands at the Sea Forest Waterway venue.

The goal: to see if it could lower heat and humidity levels.

Tokyo regularly sees temperatures of 35C and 80% humidity in July, prompting concerns that spectators could suffer heatstroke.

Sea Forest Waterway will host Olympic and Paralympic rowing and canoeing events.

Half of the 2,000 seats are uncovered, after plans for a full roof were scaled back to cut costs.

So on Friday, members of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee filled the stands for a five-minute snow machine trial, during a test event for the canoe sprints.

The result may not have been what they hoped for, however. The temperature there was 25.1C before the snow - and exactly the same afterwards.

Takashi Okamura, head of communication, command and control on the organising committee, told the BBC the result was "not as expected", but said the snow had other merits.

"The advantage of this machine is having a spray device to help the audience feel refreshed - and the amusement factor."

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