Turin, Italy spent years preparing for the 2006 Olympics -- but all that preparation couldn't offset global warming and its impact on the Winter Games. It's been unseasonably warm in Turin, something that is readily apparent in all those sweeping shots of no-covered Alps the TV cameras keep showing us. Indeed, artificial snow-making canons have been working overtime in an effort to make up for the lack of the real thing. But the fake snow is a poor substitute -- it makes the slopes icier than normal, hence the increased number of skiing accidents this year. Even the Games' opening ceremony felt the heat. At the last minute, performers in one of the big dance numbers had to switch from ice skates to rollerblades.
Watching Matt Lauer conduct interviews outside the Olympic Stadium clad in little more than a light sweater -- no jacket, no gloves, no scarf -- I can' t help but feel a preemptive pang of nostalgia for a global tradition sadly marked for extinction.