Beijing Olympics 2008

Beijing 2008 Olympics

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2008 Olympics Sports
Archery
Athletics
Badminton
Baseball
Basketball
Boxing
Canoeing
Cycling
Diving
Equestrian
Fencing
Field-hockey
Football
Gymnastics
Handball
Judo
Pentathlon
Rowing
Sailing
Shooting
Softball
Swimming
Synchronized
Table Tennis
Taekwondo
Tennis
Triathlon
Volleyball
Water Polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling

Environmental issues

Concern has been raised over the air quality of Beijing and its potential effect on the athletes. Although the Beijing Municipal Government, in its bid file in 2001, committed to lowering air pollution, increasing environmental protection, and introducing environmental technology, research data show that even if the city were to dramatically cut down its emissions, pollution would still drift over the neighboring provinces,from which 50 percent of Beijing's air is believed to originate.At current levels, air pollution is at least 2 to 3 times higher than levels deemed safe by the World Health Organization. Marco Cardinale of the British Olympic Association has stated that air pollution coupled with heat and humidity makes it "very unlikely we'll see outstanding performances in endurance sports." Several countries have also indicated that their athletes will arrive at the games as late as possible to avoid exposure to pollution. Despite this, Beijing, in its commitment to improve air quality, will remove 60,000 taxis and buses from the roads by the end of 2007 and plans to relocate 200 local factories, including a prominent steel factory, before the games begin. The Chinese government has provided assurances that "blue skies are a requirement not only for Beijing, but also for the places around it." The United States Olympic Committee has also expressed its assurance that the air quality of Beijing will not be a concern for the U.S. delegation to the games.

Meteorological findings in April 2007 also have suggested that, based on rainfall data from the past 30 years, there is a 50 percent chance of rain for the opening and closing ceremonies of the games. To combat the chance of poor weather, Beijing officials plan to seed clouds to induce rain several days before the games begin by shooting thousands of silver iodate pellets into the air using ground-based rockets. While the effectiveness of this method is questionable, Beijing is optimistic that it will reduce the chance of rainfall during the games,and planned to carry out several tests as a practice in the summer of 2007, one year before the games begin. Officials have also stated that inducing rain should also remove some of the pollution from the air.

Another issue of concern is that of Beijing's poor tap water supply. A high-ranking Beijing official has stated that tap water in the city should be avoided. The water coming out of the water plants is safe, according to Bi Xiaogang of the Beijing Water Management Bureau; the process of transporting the water throughout the city is what contaminates it. Beijing is suffering from a drought of 15 years as well as a lack of major fresh water sources elsewhere, so many locals drink bottled water instead of that from the tap. Officials of the city water authority have ensured, however, that "the safety and efficiency of the water system" will be maintained and that the recycled water supplied to the Olympic Village will be as clean as tap water.

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