Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Final Lap: Around the Globe in 60 Seconds!

Chinese air quality in the dumps! Maybe MJ was ahead of his time.

Prerace Jitters (PRJ) is proud to introduce a new segment, The Final Lap, which brings the hottest news from around the world in a weekly format. I am big enough to admit, it’s a shameless effort to increase readers of the blog.

There is a lot of news lately coming out about China and the Olympics. The closer the games approach, the more concerns start bubbling to the surface.

As far as coverage goes, a lot of this stuff has been floating around for a long time, no pun intended. For instance, the fact that the air in Beijing is slightly more breathable than the windswept plains of Venus doesn't bode well for those hoping to demonstrate their aerobic prowess.

For the world's Olympic athletes, Beijing's air is a performance issue. The concern is that respiratory problems could impede athletic performance and prevent records from being broken. Maybe the USOC should ship over a few of Michael Jackson’s oxygen chambers.

The rancid skies rated an eye-popping 421 on a scale of 1 to 500. 500 being the worst. In the United States, pollution this bad might qualify as an emergency. In Beijing, doctors advised people to stay indoors, but residents there are accustomed to breathing foul air. Earlier this year, the city actually recorded a 500. Yikes!

2/12/08 – News & Views on the Fast Life!

  • The Brits have issues too! Dwain Chambers to be re-instated after doping "issues" and British athletic officials appear unable to legally stop his comeback.

  • Yelena Soboleva of Russia improves her WR for 1,500 meters indoor. The Russian must have dressed in a phone booth, setting two WRs within two days.

  • Sweden’s Susanna Kallur flies to World Indoor record for 60-meter hurdles. Behind Kallur was LoLo Jones, who ran a 7.77 personal best and the 2nd fastest for an American, ever.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

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