Some good news for the IOC and BOGOC this week came like a breath of fresh air after the torment of the torch relay; an athlete announced that pollution in Beijing will not be a big problem. Not just any athlete either, but marathon world record holder, and London Olympic torch bearer, Paula Radcliffe.
via the Metro:
“Paula Radcliffe believes pollution in Beijing will not be as big a problem as heat and humidity during the Olympic marathon.
The women’s marathon world record holder, who suffers from asthma, believes the air quality in the Chinese capital will not be the main concern for athletes.
‘It might not even be as bad as everyone thinks because I’m sure the Chinese will do everything they can to reduce the problem,’ said Radcliffe.”
This comes after male marathon world record holder Haile Gabrselassie pulled out of the Olympic marathon because of the threat to his asthma, and is exactly the kind of endorsement the Olympics needed right now.
Also interesting to note that Paula has been speaking out in defence of the Olympics and in criticism of the protesters at the torch relay on the BBC:
“A peaceful protest on the sidelines – fine. But don’t try to stop the torch, because the torch is about more than the Beijing Olympics. It’s about the Olympic spirit and the importance of the Olympics in teaching youth, and teaching the world, what sport can do – how sport can bring people together, how it can overcome suffering, how it has overcome even wars in the past.”