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2008 Beijing Olympics Air Quality

There have been many before me and there will be many after me, but I’d like to pipe in on this subject.  First, the promises that Beijing is making are quite laughable – they are promising something over which no country has even been able to reverse in the span of months.  Check out this AFP story on Yahoo news regarding the topic – a WSJ guy tlaking about China moving mionitoring stations – ha! Nice trick.  The anecdotal eveidence from everyone I have talked to or articles I have read all point to the same issue: air quality is poor and not conducive to elite performances. 

The triathlon teams for both the UK and USA will not be staying in Beijing pre-race, while the heat just got turned way up with 2:04:26 world marathon record holder Haile Gebrselassie saying he won’t run the 26.2 miles unless they move the race.  Now he suffers from asthma, so that’s obiviously beyond the normal athlete, but it still speaks volumes for the athletes that are truly concerned.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am hugely interested in China, I hope to visit some time soon (if anyone needs a luggage handler for ’08 Olympics please let me know), and I think that greater transparency through popular events should help along the societal reforms that they are slowly but surely implementing. 

By the way, Haile has stated that he wants to be the first man to go 2:03 for a marathon – that is crazy, crazy, crazy! 99% of people can’t run sub 4:45 mile pace, let alone for any length of time.

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March 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm
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