Winter athletes to President Obama: Save our snow

POW photo

One obvious impact to global warming is winter sports. Don't believe there's an impact today? Why else do you think Russia has stored snow from over the winter in case it doesn't get enough for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics?

Winter athletes are certainly taking notice, and it's why many of them sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday, urging him to take action on climate and clean energy.

Some 75 Olympic medalists and other winter sports athletes, many representing the Protect Our Winters organization, signed the letter that states "without a doubt, winter is in trouble" and "on behalf of 23 million of us who love winter and depend on it for our economic livelihoods, please take the action on climate change you have promised."

jeremy jones

Jeremy Jones
Photos courtesy of POW

At the top of the list of signees are professional snowboarder and POW founder Jeremy Jones, a 10-time Big Mountain Rider of the Year from Truckee, California; Olympic gold and silver medalist Julia Mancuso from Squaw Valley, California; and Olympic silver medalist and four-time X Games gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler from Aspen, Colorado.

Jones started POW in 2007 when he began noticing the impact that climate change was making, particularly the closing of resorts due to a lack of snow.

POW's mission statement reads: "Our mission is to engage and mobilize the winter sports community to lead the fight against climate change. Our focus is on educational initiatives, activism, and the support of community-based projects."

Jones is being honored Thursday at a White House ceremony with other "Champions of Change," in recognition of ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things.

"This nomination is an absolute honor for me and the work we're doing at POW,” Jones said. “But it's now my responsibility to take this recognition and help secure a place in the climate discussions in Washington.  The letter that's been enthusiastically signed by so many amazing athletes is a strong showing of solidarity from the leaders in snow sports on climate action, so together, we have to keep that momentum going.”

The entire letter to the president and a list of those athletes that signed it can be found on the POW website.