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Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics looks to snow machines for event cooling

Tokyo 2020 summer Olympics looks to snow machines for event cooling
September 6, 2019

The Tokyo Organising Committee of the 2020 summer Olympics and Paralympics has confirmed it will trial the use of snow machines as the latest means to address concerns over the high heat levels expected during next year’s Games, while an ‘Open Innovation Challenge’ has been launched in an effort to find fan experience innovations.

Heatstroke and other effects of the high summer temperatures in the Japanese capital are a major concern ahead of the 2020 Games and it was revealed last month that Japanese Government representatives will carry out a study on how heatstroke can be prevented during the event.

Tokyo 2020 has now said snow machines will spray artificial snow over a test audience comprised of organising committee staff during a test event for rowing and canoe events scheduled for the Tokyo Bay venue from 12th to 15th September.

The test will be specifically carried out on 13th September at the Sea Forest Waterway, a venue that in 2016 elected to end its original plan to cover all stands with a roof to save money. As a result, half of the venue’s 2,000 seats are exposed to the sun.

Advising on the matter, a Tokyo 2020 spokeswoman told the AFP news agency “artificial snow will be sprayed over spectator seating.

“We haven’t decided definitively that we will use this system next year for the Olympics, but we want to test it to see how effective it is. We’re open to trying all potentially useful ideas.”

Games organisers have also launched the Tokyo 2020 Open Innovation Challenge, a technology competition aimed at creating an innovative spectator experience.

Aiming to encourage as many people as possible to become involved in the Games, participants from Japan and overseas have been invited to develop and submit prototypes of any type of technology application leveraging the latest Cloud and AI technologies, including mobile, web-based or robot applications.

Seeking to enhance the future spectator experience for sporting events and highlight Tokyo 2020’s commitment to innovation, the Open Innovation Challenge will focus on the spectator experience at basketball (3×3), BMX freestyle, skateboarding and sport climbing events – the new, youth-focused urban sports making their first appearance in the Olympic Programme at the Games.

Alibaba Cloud and Intel are partnering with Tokyo 2020 to organise the Challenge. The three organisations will jointly review and select as winners those who develop the most innovative and creative applications.

Proposals are being accepted through to 13th October, with a final presentation due on 22nd February.

Images: A recent 2020 Olympics test event at the newly built Oi Hockey Stadium was dominated by fears over sweltering heat and stifling humidity (top) and snowmaking technology at Australia's Perisher resort (below).

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7th April 2019 - New organisation for Japanese sport and entertainment venues

1st April 2019 - Japanese Olympic Committee President to quit amid corruption allegations scandal

25th March 2019 - Tokyo 2020 medals to be made from recycled electronic waste

3rd January 2019 - Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers maintain steady budget

6th December 2018 - Japanese Rusutsu resort joins Epic Australia Pass for the 2019/20 Winter season

8th December 2017 - Perisher to invest $4.2 million in snowmaking and new chairlift

6th August 2017 - Alpine resorts invest in snowmaking to reduce impact of climate change

2nd June 2017 - Deal reached on Tokyo 2020 Olympics costs

28th September 2016 - Tokyo 2020 Olympics to stage some sports 400 kilometres miles from city

10th September 2015 - Alibaba Group launches dedicated sports venture

25th August 2015 - Qatar advances stadium cooling technology

3rd December 2013 - Tokyo 2020 Olympics Stadium plans scaled down

8th June 2013 - Snowmaking and grooming teams working hard for the opening of the 2013 ski season

25th February 2013 - Record-breaking visitation to Japan’s snow resorts

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