Before athletes can hit the slopes, years of work go into building the Olympic arenas. It takes a team and one key member of this year’s 2018 set-up crew is from our area.
“We started shipping [snowmakers] over the summer of 2015,” said Brooke Alba of SMI, Inc., a Midland-based company that’s been making snowmaking machines since the 1970s.
This isn’t the first time SMI’s been involved with the Olympics, either.
“We started with the Olympics in 1984 with Sarajevo, we've also done Nagano, we've done Whistler, Calgary, Sochi, Pyeongchang and Salt Lake City,” Alba said.
SMI’s snow machines are “smart” snow machines, Alba explained.
“They know how to change the amount of water and air it needs to go through the equipment so the water is right for the conditions,” she said.
Their equipment will create snow for 160 acres at the Jeongseon Alpine Venue and they built a 33.6-million-gallon reservoir to store water needed to make the snow.
“We’re pretty much done making snow, we started at the end of November making snow for the site and they're pretty much wrapped up now so it's maintenance,” Alba said.
SMI is making snow for the downhill and giant slalom courses as well as the ski jumping, cross country and biathlon competitions at a neighboring resort.
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