On Bad Air Day in Beijing, I.O.C. President Sees ‘Fog’

The New York Times—August 7, 2008

Air quality in Beijing has been an irksome concern for Olympic athletes and trainers alike: a heavy gray haze occupied the skies of the Chinese capital on the first day of the events and the air quality rating was at 95, well above the limits set in the United States.

Polluted air can affect the performance of athletes competing outside who breathe it in during events.

However, the International Olympic Committee President maintained that it was merely fog brought on by humid conditions. Whether the air conditions are due to fog, smog, or both, it may not affect all athletes competing this summer.

Scott Rodeo, M.D., of Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, is the team doctor for the U.S. swimming team. Rodeo said just a few swimmers were going to attend the ceremony. Swimmers not attending are doing so not because of the pollution, but because their events begin this weekend and they need the rest, Rodeo said.

“The air hasn’t really been a factor here for us, so we’re going ahead as planned,” he said.

Read the full story at nytimes.com.

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