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Olympians Worry as 'Winter' Disappears From Winter Games

Skiers look east to the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains while skiing on man-made snow, Dec. 4, 2021, in Beaver Creek, Colo. Olympic athletes in Alpine skiing and other outdoor sports dependent on snow are worried as they see winters disappearing. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
Skiers look east to the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains while skiing on man-made snow, Dec. 4, 2021, in Beaver Creek, Colo. Olympic athletes in Alpine skiing and other outdoor sports dependent on snow are worried as they see winters disappearing. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
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Beaver Creek, Colo. (AP) -- Ski racers settling into the start gate for Alpine World Cup events in the Rocky Mountains in early December squinted through sunshine that carried the temperature toward 50 degrees and glanced down at a course covered with pristine — and manufactured — snow.

If they looked up and across the way, beyond the finish line, they saw adjacent hills that were brown and barren as can be, with nary a trace of powder or any indication that this was a setting for athletes who would be heading to the Beijing Olympics that begin Feb. 4.