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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"it's only mist,"

Move along, citizen.
As Beijing's polluted air came close to exceeding levels even the Chinese consider dangerous yesterday, one of the International Olympic Committee's most senior figures dismissed the yellow-grey haze that periodically hangs over the city as mist, and blamed the media for overstating pollution problems.

Air quality in Beijing remains a big cause for concern three days before the start of the games. Members of the US athletics team arrived in the city wearing face masks yesterday and organisers are preparing to postpone or relocate endurance events including the marathon and road cycling if smog levels reach dangerous limits.

But yesterday Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC's medical commission, said he was confident that pollution would not harm athletes or visitors, and suggested media coverage had created a false impression of pollution levels.

"The mist in the air that we see in those places, including here, is not a feature of pollution primarily but a feature of evaporation and humidity," he told the IOC's annual session. "We do have a communication problem here. Once the misconception has become sort of established in the minds of people, it's not that easy to get the right message through.

"I would not discourage athletes from wearing protection devices if they are concerned, but I do not think it is necessary. I would not wear one whether I was an athlete or not." Two days of haze gave way to sunshine yesterday afternoon, but the official measure of air quality remained close to dangerous levels.
Related news;
U.S. cyclists "voluntarily" apologize for wearing smog-masks in public.Four US Olympic cyclists who caused an outcry when they arrived at Beijing airport wearing smog masks have today apologised to Games organisers.

The four - Mike Friedman, Bobby Lee, Sarah Hammer and Jennie Reed - said that they were wearing the masks because of pollution fears, a touchy subject for the Chinese authorities.

As the Chinese capital remains shrouded in smog today, Jim Scherr, the chief executive of the US Olympic Committee, revealed that the four had said sorry.

"It probably wasn’t the most opportune time for these athletes to wear these masks,” he said, adding they had written an apology to Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (BOCOG).

But US officials said they would not ban US athletes from using masks to combat pollution if they felt it was needed because of air quality conditions.

“They have the right to wear masks if they feel it’s in their best interest to do so,” Scherr said.

“Hopefully they won’t have to use them and the air quality will be good."
Anybody care to take a bet on how long it will be before a athlete is arrested for "unauthorized political activity"?

1 Comments:

Anonymous mod said...

Oh what a bunch of shit.

"The four - Mike Friedman, Bobby Lee, Sarah Hammer and Jennie Reed - said that they were wearing the masks because of pollution fears"

They showed up at the airport wearing these things where they knew there would be cameras. Come on. Now, I'm all for protests or whatever, but these 4 idiots just made themselves look like a bunch of spoiled little rich brats with this stunt. If you want to mount a protest, how bout not participating.

Frankly, I'm just suprised the "mist" hasn't been blamed on global warming.

Whatever though, there's a wrong way to do things and a right way, and these little pricks picked the wrong way.

8/07/2008 9:47 PM  

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