Since 1908, African athletes have won over 400 medals at the summer Olympics. But they’ve never had any success at the Olympic Winter Games. This isn’t surprising given that the average annual temperature in Africa is 25.7 degrees Celsius and the difference between the average warmest and coldest month is a mere 1.9 degrees Celsius. Snow is a rarity.

Nevertheless African nations have been present at every winter games since 1984 and African athletes have blazed their own trails. Cobus Rademeyer takes us through the record.

There is, in fact, a dearth of real snow at this year’s Winter Games in China. As Peter Veals explains, basically all of the snow the athletes are competing on is made by humans.

The impact that COVID has had on people is now well documented but little is known about the virus’s impact on wildlife. A new paper about transmission from staff members to animals in a private South African zoo is one of the few studies on the subject. Three lions and a puma were infected, but recovered. Adriano Mendes, Amy Strydom, Katja Koeppel and Marietjie Venter set out why keeping a close eye on SARS-CoV-2 among wild animals is vital

Caroline Southey

Founding Editor

Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong at the 2010 winter Olympics. OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

A brief history of African nations at the Olympic Winter Games

Cobus Rademeyer, Sol Plaatje University

There’s very little snow in Africa but, even so, since 1984 at least one African nation has competed at each winter Olympics and African athletes have been trailblazers.

Snowmaking machines blow cold water, which freezes before it hits the ground. Alexander Uhrin/iStock via Getty Images

Olympic skiers and snowboarders are competing on 100% fake snow – the science of how it’s made and how it affects performance

Peter Veals, University of Utah

Snowmaking machines can produce enough snow to cover a run, but artificial snow is very different from natural flakes that fall from the sky.

Sudan’s protestors aren’t giving up despite heavy odds: here’s why

Lovise Aalen, Chr. Michelsen Institute; Mai Azzam, Bayreuth University

When the military leaders have responded so harshly and have not given in on any demands, why do the protests still continue?