Cue the snow machines: Winter may be coming to Summer Games in sweltering Tokyo

A view of the new National Stadium before a media tour of Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues on July 3.
(Matt Roberts / Getty Images)

Snow-making machines are no stranger to the Winter Olympics, where host cities have long sought mechanical help to cover bare patches on ski runs. But Tokyo is now considering the technology for a very different use at the 2020 Summer Games.

They want the machines to spray spectators.

With blazing temperatures and high humidity in the summer, the Japanese capital has been looking for ways to help athletes and fans beat the heat during the 17-day sports competition. Organizers will reportedly shower the bleachers with man-made snow during a canoeing test event next week.

“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,” a Tokyo 2020 spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse.


The machines will reportedly generate more than a ton of artificial snow per day.

Earler this summer, a heat wave in Japan killed dozens and sent thousands more to hospitals for treatment.

Adjustments have been made to the competition schedule — the marathon will start especially early in the day — to mitigate effects on athletes next summer, when the Games are scheduled to take place in late July and early August.

Organizers have also experimented with a type of air conditioning that circulated air cooled by snow.