At Paris Olympics, some athletes distrust an unusual cooling system

Paris has been gearing up for the Summer Olympics for some time. I did not know this about their plans.

For all the steps Paris organizers have taken to put on the greenest Olympics ever, their boldest measure — the one they’ve touted again and again — pertains to the dorms in the Athletes’ Village. The rooms don’t have air-conditioning.

That is not exactly true. They’re not using “traditional” air conditioning where there is active air cooling a space. They plan to use chilled water systems with piping in the floors to “cool” athletes’ rooms.

The bid to forgo air-conditioning was just a tiny part of the overall Paris plan to reduce the footprint of a massive event. But it is highly symbolic, as it has forced participating countries to consider whether they want to participate in a sustainability experiment — abandoning conventional, energy-intensive privileges in the name of green goals. The collective decision of some of the largest countries also raises questions about equality: Portable air-conditioning represents a cost that some delegations from poorer countries might not be able to afford, meaning athletes in the same Olympic Village might be sleeping at different temperatures.

Did Paris unknowingly give “richer” countries an advantage since they could afford giving portable air conditioners to their athletes? I’d love to see the Post follow up with an analysis after the games.