Salla, Finland, an Arctic village of 3,400 people is launching a bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics. The Summer Olympics in the Arctic? Yes, you read that correctly.
The village, which has an average annual temperature of 31.6 F is using a satirical bid to draw serious awareness to the issue of climate change. The village launched their campaign last week with a press conference and is supported by Fridays for Future, the organization founded by climate advocate Greta Thunberg.
In conjunction with the press conference, a promotional video was launched. The video shows residents in Salla participating in various summer sports, including a woman swimming in a pond in the cold and snow:
While the residents in the video may crack jokes and are having fun, the Arctic is particularly vulnerable to climate change and global warming. Temperatures in the Arctic that are rising at double the rate of the global average. Tuukkaa Petäjtä, a professor at the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) points out that while Salla has some of the cleanest air in the world, the Arctic is becoming more green through birds arriving and birch trees putting out leaves earlier and earlier every year.
Erkki Parkkinen, mayor of Salla, told the Guardian that they “liked the idea because we are concerned about climate change and also because we live here in the Arctic Circle and we see the changes that are happening.” Salla has yet to formally submit a bid as if they are the best place to host the games, then that means that we [as a society] have failed to keep global warming in check.
The promotional video ends with a skateboarder asking us “do you really want to have the games here?”