How were the Winter Olympics before artificial snow and climate-controlled arenas?

How were the Winter Olympics before artificial snow and climate-controlled arenas?

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Yes, before the Olympics depended on weather conditions and could only take place in the presence of snow and ice. Weather problems were frequent, so games could be disrupted.

How were the Winter Olympics before artificial snow and climate-controlled arenas? 1
Austrian soldiers carry baskets of snow to the ski slopes in preparation for the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck

During the 2nd Olympic Games in 1928 in St. Moritz, the weather suddenly became much warmer. Warm air would easily melt a box of chocolates, not to mention snow. Chaos during the second winter games disrupted many types of competition. The long race of 50 km turned into one of the slowest and not on snow, but on slush.

How were the Winter Olympics before artificial snow and climate-controlled arenas? 2
An athlete soars over barely snow-covered terrain in the ski jumping competition at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid

And, for example, in 1964 in Innsbruck, Austria, the organizers brought in the military to save the event. 2,500 soldiers lined the bobsleigh and luge fields to add snow as needed. In addition, the troops delivered 40 million kg of snow. Temperatures remained fairly warm throughout the winter games. Journalists joked that the Olympic flame is dangerous in drought conditions. But here’s the bad luck! After seven snowless weeks, four hours after the closing ceremony, a snowstorm began. Yes, such that we had to cancel flights.

How were the Winter Olympics before artificial snow and climate-controlled arenas? 3
Trucks loaded with snow head towards Mount Cypress to cover bare slopes for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

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