OLYMPICS! In my native motherland, The Peoples’ Republic of China. Good ole’ home. Nevertheless, I will be enthusiastically cheering on my adopted country, The United States of America. Go Michael Phelps! A few days ago, there was a controversy surrounding four US cyclists who arrived at the Beijing airport wearing USOC issued face masks. This is, of course, very embarrassing for the Chinese government, whom have been closing factories and banning trucks in Beijing to better the air quality. I can understand why the Chinese government is upset, especially since the face masks can’t black the poisones nitrogen dioxide.
Unfortunately, there’s little else athletes — or even spectators — can do to prevent exposure to air pollution. “You can’t protect yourself with a mask,” Munzer says. “We’re talking about a fine gas, so there’s no really good protection.”
Okay, I’m going to go on a limb here and say this: I don’t think that air quality in China is noticeably bad. I’ve been in China during the stifling summer months, with nary a blue sky in sight. While my athleticism doesn’t rival Olympians, but I have gone jogging and rock climbing in China with no breathing problems. I can understand all the fuss about air quality, but wouldn’t China’s native athletes have problems too? Why haven’t they contracted any problems?
Ironically, I am listening to Lily Allen’s fantastic cover of ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky. 😀