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China did not move mountains to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. But it flooded a dried riverbed, diverted water from a key reservoir that supplies Beijing and resettled hundreds of farmers and their families, all to feed one of the most extensive snow-making operations in the history of the Games.

This is what happens when the International Olympic Committee decides to bring the Winter Games to a place almost completely lacking in one of the main ingredients for winter sports: snow. What’s more, Beijing and its nearby mountains did not have that much water to make the artificial kind, either.

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