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Local buzz this week surrounds the rumored move of U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters to downtown (see Between the Lines). So we find it fitting to include in this issue a feature story on how the world's highest-level athletes, including some U.S. Olympians, are competing with another newsmaker global warming.

Skiers are having trouble finding snowy slopes for practice, and even competition. Hockey players are watching skating ponds remain watery through the winter. And it's all happening so fast, leaders of the sports they love haven't been able to get a handle on the problem.

Sure, this stuff falls short of polar-ice-caps-melting, sea-levels-rising, the-coast-is-doomed importance. But it remains a big deal to the hundreds of thousands of professional and recreational athletes out there, and, in some ways, to all of us. Without piles of powder in, say, Aspen, what would happen to winter tourism? And, for that matter, to the state's snow-capped identity?

Brita Belli's cover story looks at how athletes, one by one, are doing what they can to save the sports they love. It's a challenge even greater than finding free office space, and one worth commending.

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