Winter sports are a favorite among countless people from all around the world. Every year during the winter Olympics, people from places hot and cold cash out to go see those icy sports in action. And during seasonal changes, lots of people pick cold, snowy peaks as their first destinations for travel. Whoever said that these sports are only embraced by people from cold climates might have a hard lesson coming their way…if anything were to affect those cold temperatures. And word on the block is, that reality might just be around the corner.
Skiiers, snowboarders, ice hockey players, and economists take heed: changes in our climate could affect these favorite pastimes for adventurers and spectators alike. Wait a second – why economists? Good question. In the United States alone, sports tourism adds some $20 billion to the annual economy – and the numbers are just as significant elsewhere, if not more so.
At a climate action summit this week, Geert Hendriks, head of Swiss-based nonprofit group Sport and Sustainability International, spoke out about the future of winter sports, and the people who should anticipate being affected. According to Hendriks, the number of ski resorts in the Alps with enough snow to support winter tourism dropped to 176 from 193 in the last decade. “I don’t have to tell you what’s going to happen if that keeps going. The Alps will no longer be a ski resort,” he said.
As fans and players of winter sports join efforts to fight climate change with election campaigning and other organized efforts, the question remains of whether or not their support will be the shift this movement needs to make significant moves towards positive change.
She Couldn’t Believe It
Louisa was so embarrassed, she didn’t understand how he could do this to her with thousands of sets of eyes on her. It was like their relationship meant nothing to him. She couldn’t take the embarrassment.
She felt that this story would be told for years to come. No one would ever let her forget it. She needed to get him back. And she knew just how.
A Good Life
Louisa had an amazing boyfriend and a great life. She was lucky to have a great job and live in the city with an affordable apartment.
Louisa was blissfully unaware of what could go wrong in her perfect life. But once it changed, she would feel so flustered that she’d have to come up.
She had been with Marc for four years and she was still giddy with love. He had treated her right up until this point and would always send her small gifts throughout her days.
They were soulmates and nothing would stop their love. That’s at least what they thought. But something would soon get in the way and complicate things.
Marc loved the Atlanta Hawks, they were his favorite team and basketball was also his biggest hobby. Louisa knew about his avid fandom for them and found a great gift for his birthday.
She’d be in his good graces after getting him this gift. But she had no idea how a seemingly innocent gift would end in jealousy.
Marc unwrapped his present and saw tickets to the basketball game. His eyes widened in disbelief as he looked over to her.
He gave her a huge hug. He seemed so happy with his gift, but neither of them knew how this would end.
At The Game
They were now finally at the game, they could both smell the popcorn being made as they found their seats. Marc looked so overjoyed to see his favorite team play.
Louisa treated him to beer and snacks. He had a huge grin plastered on his face. She knew she’d done right by him. But something felt off.
The Kiss Cam
The traditional kiss cam started to float between couples, they each got their 5 seconds of fame and got to enjoy it. It was a favorite among fans.
But Louisa had never expected the camera to fall on a familiar couple, it was them! She felt butterflies in her stomach, but something nerve racking would happen next.
The Big Moment
The kiss cam was on them, her pulse was racing. It was time for her small bit of fame on the giant screen. But Marc didn’t seem interested.
Marc was looking down at his beer with a pale face, maybe he wasn’t paying attention to the screen and hadn’t noticed it falling on them? But that sadly wasn’t the case.
Louisa tried to make him aware of what was happening, but Marc wasn’t moving, he seemed frozen from nerves. It looked like he wished he could have been somewhere else at that moment.
Louisa couldn’t believe it, why wouldn’t he just kiss her? It wasn’t a big deal. She felt embarrassment run down to her core.
Why Was He Being Like This?
She gave Marc another chance, but he still wouldn’t cooperate with her. She could feel all of the eyes on them, she felt her cheeks flush with embarrassment. She would get him back!
Her pulse was speeding up, she knew she had to act quickly before the kiss cam went off of her. She turned to the man next to her. She had an idea, but was it the right thing to do?
Getting Her Revenge
The guy to her left was drinking soda, minding his own business. But when Louisa turned to him and put forth her proposal, he didn’t seem to hesitate and swiftly accepted to participate in her scheme.
Perhaps it didn’t hurt that she was easy on the eyes, either. While her unsuspecting boyfriend still nursed his beloved beer, she did something that shocked the whole stadium.
Before the Kiss Cam turned away, the woman planted a smooch on the lips of the man to her left. Realizing that she had kissed a stranger to get revenge on her crabby boyfriend, the crowd burst into laughter.
The three women in front of them, bemused by the spectacle but too close to the action for comfort, looked simultaneously horrified and entertained. The woman’s boyfriend, though, appeared anything but amused.
She Did The Unthinkable
After the initial shock and disbelief at what his girlfriend had just done, came the anger. He berated her, but she remained calm and looked pleased with her revenge.
So Marc instead stood up and stormed away. Meanwhile, the lucky stranger resumed sipping on his soda, wearing a giant smile on his face. The scene created such a sensation that it was preserved for posterity.
This unique moment of Kiss Cam revenge was uploaded to the Atlanta Hawks’ YouTube channel, and it soon went viral. Having amassed more than six million views, people had different takes on the matter.
Like with many other wild things that get shared online, the skeptics arrived without delay and began casting doubt on the story.
“Seems horribly fake,” remarked a commenter by the name of GrandChamp. Another called the people in the video ‘mediocre actors’ and suggested the kiss had been entirely staged.
Others went so far as to claim the whole episode had been a case of ‘guerilla marketing’ to promote a product – perhaps Sprite, the soda that the kissed gentleman was seen drinking. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Doing It For The Drama
Some stadium production teams have been known to pose as couples who reject kisses or even marriage proposals in order to create drama.
But usually, the purpose is nothing more insidious than just to keep the audience surprised and entertained. It’s also not too far-fetched to believe a person could spontaneously kiss a stranger for the benefit of the Kiss Cam. And eyewitnesses defended the veracity of the incident.
As Real As It Gets
A user by the name of Niki Blalock declared to have been at the game, stating, “I was there. It wasn’t fake. My favorite part of the game! He walked out of the building!”
Other commenters agreed, puzzled by the insistence that the occurrence was fake. Perhaps one of those deniers was the boyfriend himself, trying to save some face after being savagely burned in front of millions of people.
Keeping Audiences Entertained
Today, the Kiss Cam is a ubiquitous feature of many sports events – but this wasn’t always the case. In fact, they only came about in the 1980s when teams began adding giant video boards called ‘jumbotrons’ to their stadiums.
To keep fans entertained during breaks in the game, they showed live shots of the audience cheering, celebrating, and yes, kissing. The Kiss Cam as we know it, though, didn’t appear until a decade later.
The Birth Of A Ritual
In 1993, the Florida Marlins debuted as part of the MLB. During their inaugural season, the production team at Joe Robbie Stadium created the Kiss Cam tradition in three easy steps: play a romantic song, point the camera at a couple, and show them on the screen framed by a heart.
The ritual stuck, and soon the Kiss Cam became not just a part of sports, but also popular culture.
A Pop Culture Favorite
Many movies and TV shows have had plots that revolve around the Kiss Cam, whether it’s played for laughs or as part of a budding romance.
In Modern Family, Phil Dunphy finds himself having to give an awkward kiss to his attractive step-mother-in-law, Gloria. But the Kiss Cam has given us plenty of memorable real-life moments as well —and Louisa’s revenge on her uncooperative boyfriend remains a firm favorite.