PARTNERSHIPS & WINTERSPORTS
We Love POW – Our Partnership with Protect Our Winters
Martina Russo, Lead Italian Translator & Founder
14 February 2020
I grew up spending every winter and summer in the Italian Alps. I learnt to ski before I could talk.
(and eventually switched to the dark side – snowboarding, some 16 years down the line)
This is now our third worst snow winter season in a row, and the 3rd hottest year ever recorded since 1880, when meteorologist started recording temperatures.
Last year, it only snowed a handful days out of the 5 months of winter. In February, temps reached 20°C at 1200 meters above sea level.
This is what the off piste looked like 2200 m up the mountain:
View this post on Instagram
Has anyone seen my offpiste? It was right here last time I checked! ??? I held my hopes high to find a bit of offpiste intact after yesterday’s light snow showers and slightly colder temps, but I landed right on GRASS instead. The only way out was on foot! It was so ridiculous I had to take a photo.
Maybe it was our unlucky year.
But a new season has started, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better across the Alps.
Not even in “Ja-pow” which, according to this article, is suffering through one of the worst snow seasons on record.
Scary? You bet.
Unexpected? Not so much.
I remember being in middle school (some 17 years ago) and reading up about the threats of global warming. A few years later, one report in particular stuck to my mind:
Our mountains could be snow-free by 2050.
If global warming was barely talked about back then, it certainly isn’t – or shouldn’t be – now.
According to scientists, the Alps could lose as much as 70 per cent of their snow cover by the end of the century (spoiler: that’s just 80 years from now) as temperatures rise and greenhouse gas emissions aren’t curbed. For some ski resorts, that may mean no snow at all.
This winter the Alps suffered a very slow start to the season for the third year in a row. Going forward, the ski season may also start up to a month later and finish up to three months earlier, and the snow line may be up to 1000 m higher.
Resorts have now started investing in state-of-the-art snow machines that can produce snow even in warmer temperatures.
But is this really the winter – and world – we want?
Protect Our Winters & ISPO
Once a year, ISPO happens. ISPO is the world’s largest trade show in the (action) sports industry, and it takes place every January or February in Munich.
As the founder here at The Action Sports Translator – a translation company that specializes in the action sports and outdoors industry – ISPO is one event I always make sure to attend.
It’s great to meet clients in person after exchanging hundreds of emails, catching up with friends, and start new partnerships.
ISPO 2020 didn’t disappoint. As my eyes skimmed through Sunday’s program, one event in particular caught my attention:
Protect Our Winters Austria
When Brita finished her talk on POW’s work with an open invitation to creatives and minds from all paths of life to join their mission, stepping forward for me was a no brainer.
Then, this happened: within minutes I was speaking to one of the Austrian POW chapter’s ambassadors, who also represents South Tyrol.
In case you’re not familiar with South Tyrol, here’s a quick recap:
South Tyrol is an autonomous and officially trilingual province in northern Italy, where 62.3% of the population speaks German, 23.4% speaks Italian and 4.1% speaks Ladin (a Rhaeto-Romance language).
The region was ‘created’ during the First World War, when the Allies promised the area to Italy as an incentive to enter the war on their side. It was officially annexed to Italy in 1919.
As a consequence, despite being in Italy, here you may encounter German speakers who don’t speak a word of Italian, and Italian speakers who don’t speak a word of German. In fact, many German speakers identify themselves as Austrian and would like independence from Italy.
This cultural blend and sort of identity crisis comes with a small positive side to it: It gives us the chance of introducing POW to the Italian speakers of South Tyrol through POW Austria, even if POW Italy doesn’t exist (yet).
Once the talk was over, I made my way to the speakers to introduce myself and our translation company.
We specialize in translations for winter sports brands and – shocker – winter is kind of fundamental to what we do.
I wanted to discuss our involvement with POW by doing what we do best – translating.
Who Is Protect Our Winters
POW’s talk at ISPO wasn’t my first encounter with the organization.
I routinely do my fair share of online stalking (only for professional reasons, I promise), and had already come across POW’s work on the web.
In fact, I was quite disappointed to find out that POW had a bunch of subsidiaries in other countries, but Italy wasn’t part of that list. (that’s not POW’s fault; no one in Italy has stepped forward to join the cause so far)
Who is Protect Our Winters and what do they really do?
He wanted to connect an organization that focused on mobilizing the snowsports community on climate, but couldn’t find one – so he decided to found his own.
Today POW is active in several countries – Austria, Germany, France, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the UK – with headquarters for POW Europe in Innsbruck, Austria.
POW has grown from a simple idea into a worldwide movement, supported by more than 130,000 supporters.
“Right now, we have the luxury of worrying about how climate change might impact the outdoor industry. Right now, we get to help dictate the outcome rather than react to a foregone conclusion. But if we sit on our hands for the next two decades, we won’t be worried about powder days, tourism or having fun. We’ll be worried about the stability of our environment, our jobs and our economy.”
Website Translations for Protect Out Winters Austria
It turns out that POW Austria actually had translating their website content into Italian on their to-do list for a while.
But juggling full-time jobs and their commitments at POW kept pushing it down the list.
The good news: Translating is what we, here at The Action Sports Translator, do at the office. And we happen to specialize in action sports, winter sports and the outdoors.
Within less than 10 days from ISPO, all the content on www.protectourwinters.at has been translated and localized from German to Italian, and it’s all good to go online.
We are excited to see it live – and witness the impact it will make in this region.
Coming up: POW Switzerland… and more
We’ve also started working with Protect Our Winters Switzerland, who currently have their websites in French and German.
The team and myself are stoked to be working with and for such an important cause. In POW’s own words, ‘the most important issue of our time’.
The outdoor sports community is an industry that supports billions of jobs and economic revenue worldwide (including ours).
The outdoors is our home, our playground, and our profession.
And we can keep enjoying it only if we start taking care of it.
Most importantly, it can only exist if we protect our environment.
Martina is the lead Italian translator and founder at The Action Sports Translator. She started her career in marketing translation in 2010, alongside her studies. A few years later, she noticed a gap in the market: the lack of a specialised translation service in the action sports industry. So she founded The Action Sports Translator. When she isn’t working, you can usually find her climbing a mountain or snowboarding down one.