Athletes, Not Hot on Paris No-A/C Plans, to Bring Cooling Units to Olympics

Jul 3, 2024

debate over how to keep Olympic athletes cool during the 2024 Paris Games is heating up. Some nations' teams are frosty on the idea of staying in quarters without air conditioning. So, they're bringing their own A/C units to the 2024 Paris Games. 

French Olympic organizers dislike plans by the US and other countries to bring their own cooling units. That’s because they fly in the face of Paris's efforts to host Games that are friendly to nature, they say. The Olympic village apartments are just north of the city. They've been built to withstand heat. They're also cooled with a form of geothermal energy. They use a network of cold water pipes running beneath them.   

Yet, teams from the US, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, and UK, among others, say they aren’t taking chances on their athletes’ comfort and performance. That’s even though France's Olympic committee insists these quarters will stay between 73 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. They'll be equipped with fans, too.     

“We (understand) the concept of not having (A/C) due to the carbon footprint,” Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll told reporters. “But it is a high-performance Games. We’re not going for a picnic.”    

Australia is spending roughly $100,000 on its own A/C units for the athletes.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the city is not going to relent. She maintains it won't provide A/C in the village. She said in a statement she wants the Paris Games to set the bar "from an environmental point of view.” Some athletes agree.    

“It’s a good thought,” Eliud Kipchoge told The Associated Press. The Kenyan runner and two-time gold medal winner added, “We all need to reduce our carbon.”     

Reflect: Why might it be important to consider both the environmental impact and personal comfort when making decisions about housing or accommodations?

Gif of Olympic flag from GIPHY.

Which statement would Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo most likely agree with? (Common Core RI.5.9; RI.6.9)
a. Air conditioning is essential for maintaining the comfort and performance of Olympic athletes.
b. Providing air conditioning for athletes will ensure a successful and comfortable Olympic event.
c. The cost of installing air conditioning units should be covered by the Olympic organizers.
d. The environmental impact of the Olympic Games should be minimized, even if it means athletes may not have air conditioning.
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