ASPEN - Winter X Games athletes did more than prepare for competition this week.
Several athletes teamed with climate experts to give presentations at high schools in the Roaring Fork and Eagle valleys. Two-time X Games snowboard medalist Kaitlyn Farrington and U.S. Snowboard Team member Benji Farrow gave a presentation at Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum on Wednesday.
Olympic silver medalist and four-time X Games gold medalist Gretchen Bleiler visited Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale on Wednesday.
Pro freeskier Nick Martini met with students at Glenwood Springs High School on Thursday.
X Games skiing silver medalist Devin Logan gave a presentation at Basalt High School on Friday.
The presentations were part of the Hot Plant/Cool Athletes Program organized by Protect Our Winters, also known as POW. The athletes give their perspectives on climate change and the economic, social and intangible values of winter.
The snowsports athletes join with climate experts from the Alliance for Climate Education, a national leader in high school climate education. The teams deliver award-winning multimedia presentations on climate change science and "real world" solutions, according to a statement from POW. "The assembly features athlete's personal stories about climate change, specific local consequences related to snowfall and inspires students to take action against climate change."
It was estimated that the athletes and scientists would reach at least 1,200 students over the three days. Since its launch in 2011 at Winter X Games 15, Hot Planet/Cool Athletes assemblies have reached 13,000-plus students at high schools around the country.
"Part of POW's mission is to make sure that the next generation is better equipped to address climate change," professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones, POW's founder, said in a statement. "As athletes, we now have a relevant platform to reach young students and create a movement of passionate youth leaders."