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Discussion in 'RC' started by NAD, Aug 25, 2004.
Wow, did NOT know that they were even going on right now? Wow.
Well it's finally here. Let the games commence. <cough cough>
Out of all the places in the world, they go with this enviro-nulled (new word) metropolis.
BEIJING — Jennie Reed walked down the ramp leading from the cycling track to the bottom floor of the Laoshan Velodrome on Friday, the infamous black mask that created such a stir earlier this week in image-conscious Beijing again wrapped around her nose and mouth.
She got outside, took the mask off, and boarded a bus. No one even seemed to notice.
At least two of the four American cyclists who arrived at Beijing's airport Wednesday wearing the masks -- and then issued an apology to Beijing Olympic organizers for doing so -- are still wearing them at certain times, citing precautionary reasons. U.S. triathletes also wore masks after arriving in the city on Thursday.
As China prepared for an opening ceremony designed to showcase the country to the world, the hazy air continues to be a touchy issue. Officials have made numerous attempts to improve air quality before the games, including recently imposed measures to pull half of Beijing's 3.3 million vehicles off the roads, halt construction and close some factories.
But some U.S. athletes still weren't taking any chances.
"The intent" of wearing the mask, U.S. cyclist Bobby Lea said, "is just to stay healthy."
"I wish it wasn't taken as an offense to the Chinese," Lea said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's a shame, because BOCOG (the Beijing Olympic organizing committee) has done such a fantastic job. The city, it's almost an entirely different city from what we saw in December. So it is a shame."
Lea, the only of the three involved in the mask-wearing brouhaha who would speak at the velodrome Friday, said his reason for wearing the device stems from an illness he said he contracted quickly upon arriving in Beijing for a World Cup race in December. Within 30 minutes of getting off the plane for the World Cup, Lea said, his throat was sore and the condition only got worse from there, meaning he could barely train before the competition. He didn't want to deal with the same issues again at the Olympics, so he's taking many precautions, including wearing a nasal device on flights.
"Every single day I've thought about these games, I thought about my last experience here and being sick and just missing out on that one ride and potentially missing out on my whole Olympic opportunity," Lea said. "So naturally it's a worry, coming back to the same place."
Lea did not wear the covering at the velodrome Friday, nor did individual pursuit gold-medal hopeful Sarah Hammer. The fourth American to emerge from Wednesday's flight into Beijing wearing the mask, Michael Friedman, was not at the velodrome but has indicated on his personal blog that he will continue wearing a mask at times.
"Airplanes and airports are just breeding grounds for germs," Lea said. "As an athlete in peak physical form, our immune systems are actually lower than normal. Had I been flying anywhere in the U.S., I would have been wearing a mask."
In a statement, USA Cycling reiterated that athletes can choose to use the masks if they feel it necessary.
"Whatever an athlete feels they need to do to properly prepare for their competition, as long as it's within the rules, those choices are at the discretion of the athletes," spokesman Andy Lee said.
American women's road cyclist Kristin Armstrong, said wearing the masks is a personal choice but she questioned whether wearing the masks coming off the plane was the best move.
"Unfortunately, it's not just this person or that person, it's cyclists, and I don't want any negativity coming down on this sport as a whole. We have enough problems on our own," said Armstrong, who is not wearing a mask as she prepares for her two outdoor events, a road race Sunday and a time trial Wednesday.
Two U.S. triathletes, Matt Reed and Hunter Kemper, also wore masks for a jog around the Olympic village. Matt Reed said the heat made it difficult to breathe comfortably during his run around the Olympic Village and he won't wear it again while working out.
But that might be the only time he goes maskless in Beijing.
Whether going out in Beijing or walking around the village, he's going to wear the mask to cover his nose and mouth.
"I definitely am conscious (of perceptions) and I don't want to offend anyone," Matt Reed said, "but I'm out for my own health, really. I'm sure they know the air quality is not good, so I don't see it's that bad wearing a mask."
Triathlete Jarrod Shoemaker, who wore a mask before qualifying for the U.S. team during the Beijing World Cup in September, noted the skies had changed from "more yellow and dark" last year to a whitish color. Shoemaker said the sky "doesn't look as bad, but you can still kind of taste it."
"We take the precautions we need to," triathlon team leader Scott Schnitzspahn said. "We're still far enough out from our competition that a little exposure isn't going to really affect them too much. But we still don't want them running around sucking on a tailpipe."
Is that Markgugs?!!?
i had my reservations as well, but that was the most amazing opening ceremony EVER.
hope those of you with HD did not miss it ...
That guy is insanely fast. He half assed it while everyone else was going 100%
Its almost like each stride is twice as powerful as everyone else.
US kicked huge amounts of ass in swimming
I'll admit to watching several innings of USA softball. Other than that, I couldn't care less about the Olympics.
ps: LOL at softball being eliminated from future games. We'll still have badminton though!!
Greatest first name of all time.
I am in agreement with a number of people I've met who suggest that we need a 'steroid olympics' that you're disqualified if you're not on drugs. Lets see how fast a human being can run if you pump enough drugs into it!
Yup, one of each would be ace. An athlete in most sports would have nowhere near more than one game of olympics also, and they would all know it so everyone would give 100%. 100% for someone bred on russian narcotics with intent to lift heavy things is a shitload.
I thought thats pretty much what we already had?
Nowhere CLOSE to what we would get if competitors didn't have to be all hush-hush sneacky about it
most amazing opening ceremony which was fake thx to the Chinese obsession with self-image.
His dick is probably the size of one of the hairs on top of swizzle's head. I feel sorry for the chap.
So true. I LOLed. Actually, I LOL at the empty venues, the protestors being dragged off on a regular basis and american athletes showing up with breathing masks on.
not bad either.