Utah marathoner Conner Mantz won’t have to worry about not being able to sleep because of the heat ahead of his Olympic debut at this summer’s Paris Games now that members of Team USA are going to have air conditioners for their rooms in the Athletes Village.

“It is nice because OK, I’m not going to be too uncomfortable leading into what could be the most important race of my life now,” Mantz told the Deseret News Monday. Earlier this year, he’d expressed concern about the effects of what could be extremely high temperatures, even at night, on his performance in the 2024 Summer Games.

What a Utah Olympian thinks about the athlete housing at Paris Games not having air conditioning

It’s the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee that will provide air conditioning units for members of Team USA in the massive Parisian complex built to showcase a commitment to the environment by relying on a unique geothermal system for cooling. It will be home to some 15,000 athletes and sports officials in July and August before being converted into apartments and office space.

“We will have air conditioning in the rooms in the village,” the CEO of the Colorado-based USOPC, Sarah Hirshland, told reporters during a call Friday when asked if the U.S. would bring portable air conditioners to Paris as Australia and other countries have already announced they’re doing.

“We have great respect for the work that’s been done by the Paris organizing committee in particular, and their focus on sustainability. And I know that there have been lots of questions around the consistency of that, coupled with the air conditioning,” Hirshland said.

“As you can imagine, this is a period of time in which consistency and predictability is critical for Team USA’s performance, and in our conversations with athletes, this was a very high priority and something that the athletes felt was a critical component in their performance capability, and the predictability and consistency of what they’re accustomed to,” she said.

“And so, yes, we will have air conditioners,” Hirshland said, provided by the USOPC rather than French Olympic organizers.

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Mantz, who graduated from Brigham Young University in 2022 with a degree in mechanical engineering, said he’s “still hopeful” the geothermal system designed to cool the athlete housing by tapping into water located deep underground will work. He said he’s sympathetic to the reasons for not relying on traditional air conditioners.

A living room of the Olympic village is pictured, in Saint-Denis, north of Paris Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. The U.S. Olympic team is one of a handful that will supply air conditioners for their athletes at the Paris Games in a move that undercuts organizers' plans to cut carbon emissions. | Thibault Camus

“It’s kind of frustrating because it sounded like the reason they were doing that was for helping with the environment. Now, they’re bringing over air conditioners from the U.S. I don’t know if that seems like the more efficient way to do anything environmentally. I don’t know. I’m not really in that space,” Mantz said. “It’s fine. We’ll see how necessary they are.”


But it’s not something he’s spent much time thinking about as he readies for the 26.2 mile race through Paris set to start at 8 a.m. on Aug. 10, the second to last day of the Olympics. With Paris temperatures soaring into the triple digits in past summers, Mantz’s training has included stints in saunas to simulate the French capital’s heat and humidity.

He’s planning to be in Paris to participate in the July 26 opening ceremony that will feature athletes sailing down the Seine aboard boats. For Team USA, Hirshland said more than one boat may be needed, with 364 athletes like Mantz and his former BYU teammate and fellow Olympic marathoner Clayton Young already securing their spot, with another 205 expected to be filled.

Mantz said they may end up leaving France after the opening ceremonies to train in the mountains of Switzerland or Spain ahead of the marathon. It’s a trade-off between training at higher altitude, where cooler temperatures will also make it easier to get needed rest at night, and being able to experience the steamy conditions likely for their race, he said.

Just how much time he’ll spend in the Athletes Village isn’t clear, Mantz said. “We’ll kind of have to see.”

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