Olympics-Snowboarding-'Super grippy' man-made snow gets thumbs up

A snow mobile makes its way in front of the Halfpipe and Snowboard Cross venue at the Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics in Zhangjiakou, China January 29, 2022. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

ZHANGJIAKOU, China, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Snowboarders from Australia and New Zealand praised the man-made snow after inspecting the slopestyle venue in Zhangjiakou before the events commence later this week.

"The snow is actually amazing, the man-made stuff. I think because of how cold it is you have to be really aggressive with how you ride," Zoi Sadowski Synnott, a Kiwi gold medal hopeful in the slopestyle competition, said on Tuesday

"The snow is super grippy here," said 23-year-old Australian snowboarder Matt Cox, who is set to make his Olympic debut.

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"Also ... because usually when you get to man-made snow and you rip into an edge, for instance, it slides out on you pretty easily, but with the cold temps here, it's dreamy snow."

The Beijing Winter Olympics will be the first Games to use almost 100% artificial snow, deploying more than 100 snow generators and 300 snow-cannons working flat out to cover the ski slopes.

Responding to the controversy over the environmental impact of producing and using man-made snow, the official Xinhua News Agency said: "Beijing 2022 organizers have vowed to deliver a sustainable and eco-friendly Games. In line with this commitment, snowmaking at some of the Beijing 2022 venues is anything but detrimental to the environment."

The Olympic snowboarding competitions start on Feb. 5 with qualifying rounds for the women's slopestyle event.

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Reporting by Winni Zhou and Mari Saito, Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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