View Full Version : Lethal Smog 26 Times As Dense As The Average Sydney Day

08-04-2008, 09:22 PM
Ready ... get set ... choke!?

DO not adjust your eyes.

"We are going to have a bunch of American athletes Returning with chronic lung problems !"

These pictures, taken exactly 24 hours apart, graphically illustrate how Beijing has gone from beautiful one day, to choking the next.

Just three days from the Opening Ceremony, Beijing's air is clogged with lethal smog 26 times the average Sydney day, a Beijing Now investigation can reveal.

The smog was so intense it penetrated the Aquatic Centre - or Water Cube - prompting calls for an investigation by the Australian swimming team.

Tests on the atmosphere inside the Olympic Green, and within 500 metres of the Games track and field and swimming facilities, show pollution has soared in the past 24 hours to levels equivalent of a bushfire.

A haze hovering high inside above the competition pool greeted the Australian swim team for their first training session at the Olympic swimming venue.

Australian head swimming coach Alan Thompson said he was seeking an answer from event organisers at the pool to find out why it appeared the smog had crept indoors.

"I am trying to find the answer to that question,'' Thompson said when asked if he had noticed the hazy conditions.

"I don't know why, but I did notice the haze.''

The extreme readings in Beijing raise the prospect of Olympic events being rescheduled in a bid to protect athletes from life-threatening conditions.

Pollution experts said yesterday it was a case of when - not if - athletes broke down under the conditions.

And they warned more serious responses - even death - were now possible.

"You have a cocktail of conditions that add up to extreme stress on the athlete,'' said Murdoch University associate professor Peter Dingle.

"With these readings you are talking more than 20 times a high day in Sydney or Melbourne and 10 times the most extreme pollution day (in Sydney or Melbourne).


08-04-2008, 09:32 PM
China fails to keep promises it made to win Olympic games

BEIJING With four days left before the start of the 2008 Summer Games, Chinese officials have not lived up to key promises they made to win the right to host the Olympics, including widening press freedoms, cleaning up their capital city's polluted air and respecting human rights.

The failures were evident Monday:

A thick pall of smog covered Beijing, raising concerns that endurance events such as long-distance races would have to be moved out of the city. Some still held out hope that emergency measures would clear the city's air by Friday.

Near Tiananmen Square in the heart of the city, police scuffled with protesters who said they were evicted from their homes to make way for Games-related development.

Chinese censors continued to block access to politically sensitive Web sites for thousands of foreign journalists gathered at the Olympic press center.

These failures stand in contrast to the Herculean efforts China has made to prepare for the Olympics, building world-class venues, housing and other infrastructure.

Eager to impress a world audience, Chinese organizers have spent an estimated $40 billion on the 18-day event and built breathtaking facilities such as the landmark National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, where the opening ceremonies will be held Friday.

However, before and after 2001, when China won the right to host the Summer Games, Chinese Olympic officials repeatedly said they'd use the Games to improve the country's human rights record and allow reporters unfettered access to cover the competitions.

"We will give the media complete freedom to report when they come to China," Wang Wei, the secretary general of the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee, told a press conference in 2001. "We are confident that the games coming to China not only promote our economy, but also enhance all social conditions, including education, health and human rights."


08-04-2008, 10:19 PM
This is my game.

These athletes aren't going to have chronic lung problems. They may have a slightly degraded performance but they will still have the advantage over Chinese athletes who train in that stuff everyday.

More problematic for the ChiComms will be the numbers of tourists with asthma or whatever who have, or believe they have, a reaction to the visible smog.