No cycling or marathon in Beijing ?

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.

Olympic chief Jacques Rogge says air pollution could lead to some events at the 2008 Beijing Games being postponed.

"Sports with short durations would not be a problem, but endurance sports like cycling are examples of competitions that might be postponed or delayed."

We went to China a couple of years ago.
We took a train from one city of 5million people to another of 8million.
They looked identical - same ugly, dirty, concrete buildings; same buses and taxis spewing-out diesel fumes; same MacDonalds, Kodak Express on every corner.

It was late afternoon when we arrived, knackered after the train, went up to our hotel room and immediately closed the curtains, all you could see through the window was the sun was glaring-in from a bright yellow polluted sky.
In the morning, opened the curtains and there was another tower block on the other side of the road - swear it hadn't been there the night before....
Went out for the day, came back late afternoon, it had gone again, all you could see was the blur of the sun in the polluted sky.

Just walking around the streets our lungs were burning.
I wouldn't like to run or cycle in that...


nothing in moderation
well it's certainly changed since 1988 when i went then. it will be the car that's done it. most traffic was on two wheels, or busses. sure in places it was scruffy, but i don't recall pollution being anymore a problem than in manchester.

they should have stuck with the bikes.
No, the car's got some blame, but it's only a part of it.

It's just general development - more industry, more factories, more buses/cars/motorbikes

They're opening what, two new coal-fired power stations two a day I think it was.
And it's not coal like we know it, it's yellow clay-like stuff that produces huge amounts of smoke, particulates, sulphur, ete, etc

Keith Oates

Penarth, Wales
Air pollution in a lot of China is not good, of that there can be no argument, but it's no worse than when the games were given to them. It's a bit late to complain about it now. Of course those squeaky clean Olympic committees who voted for it to be held in Beijing will not be brought to task or asked to explain to the world how they allowed it to happen!!!!


New Member
Why not just hold the endurance events away from Beijing?

As for the Olympic committee, I doubt they got much further than a five star hotel and lap dancing bar. ;) A big wad of cash can easily gloss over air pollution and human rights issues.


Well-Known Member
On the other hand, it's worth noting that the Olympics has been staged in other cities with air pollution problems, such as Los Angeles and Athens, and the running of events there wasn't affected.

Interestingly, the BOA seem to more sanguine about the Beijing smog than others. In a report in the Times, the BOA chief exec. is quoted as saying:

“We have known about the environmental challenge since we started coming here four years ago. It is an issue and we believe we have put in place the best plans for the British team. There will be particular challenges here, as there are at every Games.

So, yes, we were aware of this one and have responded accordingly.”

The BOA's keeping schtum about the measures the GB team will take to deal with the pollution, which suggests that they think they may have a competitive advantage.

I don't suppose air filters in the sinuses and throat comes under WADA's remit? ;)


The authorities have already announced plands to close factories around Beijing and to prohibit the use of private vehicles during the games. They restricted traffic before earlier this year when they held a summit for the African Development Fund and the air quality improved immensly. In Jacques Rogge's full statement he also said that he didn't believe there was a need for postponement.

So don't worry yourselves. A few hundred thousand factory workers are going to sacrifice one month of their wages, but that's a small price to pay so that people can watch the bike races and a marathon.

Keith Oates

Penarth, Wales
Well, they won't have to take time off to watch them on the TV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Top Bottom