Will There Be Snow for the Olympics?

People moan and groan when there is no snow on Christmas, even in places where it never snows. But  people don’t care very much about Christmas in Korea. Snow for the Olympics, on the other hand, is totally another story.

I arrived in Gangneung, the Olympics Ice Event City, back in January of 2009, and there was snow on the ground back then. Three times since then, we’ve had monumental snow fall during the winter, and at those times, the Winter Olympics would have gone of well. But what does that say about percentages? In nine years, there has only been snow three times, so that is just a 30% chance that nature will actually come through.

Among all the amazing things that people can make nowadays, snow is not really the most impressive, but it might come down to human intervention if things next year go as they have been going so far this year. Here we are in the middle of January, and every day is sunny and dry. There is a thin white dusting in the mountains, but nothing near what is needed to impress Olympics enthusiasts and make the experience what it was meant to be, both for the athletes and the spectators.

Of course, nature doesn’t really care what we want, although it provides the essentials that we need quite marvelously. If organizers get confused and schedule the Winter Olympics in an area with high “no-snow risk”, nature really can’t be blamed, can she? And the truth is that she doesn’t really care if we blame her or not, so we might as well go ahead and do it. Her ambivalence makes her the perfect scapegoat.

But hope is not dead with time still ahead, and there is another year to go before we find out for sure. And a hopeful thought to go back to is that 30% number we mentioned above. By that measure, we are coming due for another heavy snow fall. Then, everyone will be shiveringly happy.

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