Sports

US Olympians demand AC units for ‘performance capability’ in Paris despite emissions goals

U.S. Olympics announced it will provide air conditioners for American athletes at the Paris Games, bypassing France’s ambitious green standards.  “As you can imagine, this is a period of time in which consistency and predictability is critical for Team USA’s performance,” U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said Friday. “In our conversations with […]

U.S. Olympics announced it will provide air conditioners for American athletes at the Paris Games, bypassing France’s ambitious green standards. 

“As you can imagine, this is a period of time in which consistency and predictability is critical for Team USA’s performance,” U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland said Friday. “In our conversations with athletes, this was a very high priority and something that the athletes felt was a critical component in their performance capability.”

While France has some of the lowest air conditioning rates in Europe, Paris’s organizing committee said it wants to cut the carbon footprint of the Paris Olympic Games by half. It plans to reach its goals by installing a special technology harnessing natural sources. Even with the new geothermal energy system, temperatures in the athletes’ apartments could rise to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Buildings of the Olympic Village in Saint-Denis, outside Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Paris Olympic organizers have been steadfast in their commitment to environmental goals.

“I want the Paris Games to be exemplary from an environmental point of view,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in March. 

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The United States is not alone in providing air conditioning for its competitors. Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada, and Britain are also bringing AC units to the Olympic Games, the Washington Post reported. 

The Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, France, from July 26 to Aug. 11.

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