A cool gift on a hot summer day

Children playing with snow originally stored for the Tokyo Olympic marathon

August 5 was a peak heat summer day with the high temperature exceeding 30 degrees Celsius in the city of Bibai. On this hot day, five facilities including elementary schools received a gift of cold snow stored for cooling at the Tokyo Olympic Marathon Sapporo course from the industry-academia-government consortium “Bibai Nature Energie Research Association.” The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed due to the novel coronavirus. And because snow that was initially slotted for use as a heatstroke prevention measure at this summer’s marathon was no longer needed, the consortium gifted it as snow to play with during the peak heat of the summer.
The snow was divided up and stored in 300 cylindrical plastic bags measuring one meter in height and diameter. 32 bags were delivered to a total of five facilities in Bibai. Twenty five children at one of these facilities, Kodomo Himawari, could be heard exclaiming, “Look, snow,” and, “Wow,” while having fun shoveling snow with shovels and climbing up mounds of snow.