It is so cold at the Winter Olympics, skiers are being forced to throw away their expensive skis after practice runs

  • Coaches threw away skis after Wednesday's practice runs at the Winter Olympics.
  • When the temperature gets so cold, the snow crystals form sharp edges and ruin the bottom of the skis.
  • Temperatures during the practice runs in the morning were in the single digits Fahrenheit.
  • Six people were recently treated for hypothermia during a concert held at the stadium that will be used for the opening ceremony on Friday.


The skiing events at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have not started yet, but the brutally cold weather is already having an adverse effect on the skiers — they are being forced to throw away their skis after practice runs.

A course worker at the Winter Olympics told Rory Carroll of Reuters that coaches are throwing skis away after their practice runs on Wednesday.

"One of the coaches said they are throwing the skis out after today," said Craig Randell, a start crew technician who is working his third Olympics, told Reuters. "You can’t do anything about it but with the cold temperatures, the snow adheres to the ski base and twists it. They are turning their skis to garbage real fast."

As Randell noted, when competing with the best in the world for the biggest prizes in the sport, "every little millisecond, every little idiosyncrasy counts."

According to Reuters, the weather was in the single digits Fahrenheit during the morning training runs.

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Inside the Pyeongchang Olympic village
The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics mascot Soohorang stands at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A bed room is seen at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, center, chats with members of the Canadian Olympic Team during a tour of the Pyeongchang Olympic Village prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Patrick Semansky/Pool
A bathroom is seen at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A general view shows a fitness center at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
The Olympic rings are seen at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, second from right, visits with members of the Canadian and Jamaican Olympic teams as they eat lunch during a tour of the Pyeongchang Olympic Village prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Monday, February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Patrick Semansky/Pool
A general view shows a dining hall at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A general view shows a dining hall at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A general view shows a recreation centre at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A general view shows a recreation center at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A general view shows a laundry room at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A general view shows a recreation center at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
The Gangneung Olympic Village is seen in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Volunteers are seen at the Gangneung Olympic Village in Gangneung, South Korea January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
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Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher explained that when the weather gets too cold, snow crystals become sharp and destroy the skis.

"Every run is a different pair of skis, but it’s not because of hard conditions but the cold conditions," Hirscher said. "Snow crystals get really sharp when temperatures go to -20 degrees and the base burns. It’s the same as lighting fire and burning your base because the snow crystals get such sharp edges."

During a recent concert held in the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, six people were treated for hypothermia. The newly built stadium is a 35,000-seat, open-air venue and will be used for the opening ceremony on Friday.

The cold weather in South Korea is in stark contrast to the Sochi Olympics where it was so warm, it looked like the Summer Olympics at times.

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