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Artificial snow falls on Tokyo Olympic venue in test to beat the heat

Artificial snow falls on spectators as part of an anti-heatstroke experiment during a canoeing event trial for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, in Tokyo's Koto Ward on Sept. 13, 2019. (Mainichi/Junichi Sasaki)

TOKYO -- The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on Sept. 13 tested artificial snowfall at a venue for canoe sprint events in a waterfront area of the capital on Sept. 13, as part of efforts to protect spectators at the Summer Games next year from sweltering heat.

The experiment took place during a trial for the canoe sprint events held at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo's Koto Ward, one of the venues for the 2020 games. Flakes made using a snow-making machine aboard a vehicle were released into the air, delighting many spectators in the stands.

During the test, changes in the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), an indicator of the risk of heatstroke, were measured, while staff of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee experienced the actual temperature in spectators' seats.

Due to cost-cutting measures, the Sea Forest Waterway has a roof for only half of the 2,000 permanent seats in the stands, raising concerns for possible health issues from the scorching summer heat during the 2020 games.

(Japanese original by Miaki Tsuburaya, Sports News Department)

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