Today marks the official launch of the one year countdown to the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing. While the countdown kicked off with singers, dancers, celebrities and partying in northern China another countdown - that coincides with the Olympic count - has been ongoing for quite a while.
There has never been a time in the history of planet earth when the issue safety of the environment has been more prevalent. Global warming is a taking strong force (which we are experiencing mildly here in Vancouver with the lack of a summer) and now it is making its way into the sporting world.
With all the celebrating going on in China as they kick of the year leading up to the Olympic Games, the Chinese and those who live in the superpower country must be using a super amount of power because the smog problem keeps on worsening. The extreme smog that covers the Beijing skies is already posing a health concern for Chinese habitants and is expected to cause a large problem for athletes competing outdoors in next year's games. Not many world records are expected to be broken due to the poor state of air and International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge says that some events may end up being rescheduled based on the severity of the smog.
You would think that an institution such at the IOC would have a mandate to, if not help the environment, at least not make it worse. The fact that Beijing's environmental situation is a mess didn't seem to make a difference when they were chosen as next year's host. I mean, what can be worse than a city that is already killing the world hosting the Olympics Games, one of the most viewed and planned, and undoubtedly pollution-creating spectacles in history? Well the answer is simple, it's better than Toronto hosting them. Here's to the athletes looking forward to 2010, basking in the cool (somewhat fresh) mountain air in beautiful British Columbia.