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The inventive way Australian golfers are staying cool at the Olympics

Hannah Green

Hannah Green smiled and held a cup. You know that meme where the cartoon dog is sitting next to a cup and says, “This is fine,” amid a room full of flames? It had come to life. 

Fire, figuratively, has surrounded Green and the 59 other women playing in the Olympic women’s golf tournament this week in Japan. Temps have floated around 100. Players went off both tees during Friday’s third round to try to finish before noon. But there Green was on Thursday in a photo snapped by Ian Baker-Finch, her captain on the Australian Olympic golf team.

This was fine. 

What gives? While it remains to be seen if Green and fellow Aussie Minjee Lee have ice in their veins during the remainder of the event, they do have slushy in them. And ice vests on them. 

“I pretty much used it every opportunity that I got,” Green said of the vests. “It wasn’t so bad the first nine holes, the last nine was definitely starting to get warm, but today I have to make sure I’m doing the right thing, but I also have to think about the next couple days. It won’t be so hot, but I want to make sure that I don’t have to work too hard to get myself back to normal. So very grateful for the team running around everywhere and looking after me and my caddie.”

According to another Instagram post by Baker-Finch, Dr. Corey Cunningham of the Australian Olympic Committee provided Finch and the team the vests and slushies before Thursday’s second round. From there, the team walked around the Kasumigaseki Country Club course with a blue cooler labeled “Do Not Touch,” and Green shot a 65, Lee a 68.

“I used it like two or three times, probably,” Lee of the vest. “Walking around. So I had it on and off just for a short period of time, but I think it was great. It feels good when you have it on.”

Last week, GOLF’s Sean Zak described other inventive measures taken by the Japanese to play golf when temperatures may suggest doing otherwise. But just how hot is it for the professionals? Lee was also asked how the conditions compare to events she’s played around the world. 

“It’s just much more humid here,” said Lee, who won the Evian Championship two weeks ago for her first major championship. “But in the Middle East not as, it’s not that hot. I mean, it’s dry heat. And you don’t really feel it as much as like here, where it’s humid like Thailand, Singapore. It’s the humidity. Like the temperature is probably not so bad — it’s just the sun and the humidity.”

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