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– We really have to take it seriously

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The Olympic rings in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background. The Games in France start on July 26. Photo: Michel Euler / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 23.04.2024 07:30:27

Sport: Hanne Staff states that there are figures and analyzes that indicate that it may be hotter than in the Tokyo Olympics three years ago.

– We really have to take it seriously in our preparations, but I feel that we have learned a lot from Tokyo. We have made good plans, says Staff to NTB.

She is head of performance and development at Olympiatoppen.

Earlier this year, a study was published by the journal Npj Climate and Atmospheric Science, which examined the risk that the temperature in Paris could exceed the record set last year. It concluded that there is a “not insignificant risk”. French health authorities have stated that the heat wave in 2023 caused 5,000 deaths.

Also the European Weather Agency ECMWFs forecasts point to a warm summer – possibly the warmest since 2017, according to the institute’s April forecast. The backdrop is that 2023 was among the warmest years ever recorded.

– We have cooling vests and a number of other things that can be used to keep the body temperature down before the start. I’m not worried, says Staff.

The Tokyo Olympics were recorded as the hottest Games ever, and Staff points out an important difference:

– It probably won’t feel so bad (in Paris), because it’s less humid, she says.

– There are individual differences between athletes. Some are bothered by the heat, and some are not bothered so much. But you have to be acclimatised. Not only for performance, but also for health. Getting a heat stroke can actually be very serious. We certainly don’t want that, says Staff.

“Heat waves and extreme weather are factors we take into account and for which we prepare as much as possible to take the necessary measures,” a spokesman for the Games told the AFP news agency.

Among the measures are either early or late times for competitions to avoid the worst of the heat. This applies to sports such as athletics, sand volleyball and tennis.

At the Olympic summit, the Norwegian delegation is well prepared, according to Staff.

The Olympic organizer in France has previously spoken out about the climate risk.

(© NTB)

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