Air quality will not be a concern for the US
delegation during the Beijing Olympic Games, said Steven M. Roush,
chief of sport performance in the US Olympic Committee (USOC), in
Beijing on Thursday.
"I anticipate the improvement in Beijing's air quality next
year, and we will continue to monitor it, so the air condition is
not a concern for US team," said Roush, who is leading the US
Goodwill Tour group in commemorating the one-year-out date of the
"I witnessed China's handling of traffic during the Sino-Africa
summit, so I am confident of Chinese government in its capacity of
dealing with air and traffic. It won't be a problem for us," added
The six US Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls in the Tour echoed
Gao Jun, a three-time table tennis Olympian (1992, 2000, 2004),
said that the air condition in Beijing won't be bother her.
"Air quality is not a problem in Beijing at all. Air pollution
is a commonplace in most of the big cities worldwide, and Beijing
is determined to get it improved step by step, so there is no need
to worry about that," said Gao, who won a silver for China in the
doubles event in the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 and also
played for the United States in the Sydney and Athens Games.
Gao has booked her spot for her fourth Olympics next year after
winning the women's singles event in the Pan American Games in Rio
de Janeiro last month.
Howard Bach, a badminton player in the Tour, said air quality is
out of his consideration during the Beijing Olympic Games.
"I live in Los Angeles, and it's not very good there in air. I
also spend a lot of time in Colorado Springs, where I enjoy very
clean air. For us athletes, we travel around the world, so I won't
concern too much on it. It's a game for everybody and we are
competing in the same air," said Bach.
Bach and his partner Tony Gunawan won the doubles title at the
2005 World Championships, the first world title won by US badminton
Among the Tour, there are also Lindsay Pian (in archery), Donny
Popvich (in BMX cycling), Iris Zimmerman (in fencing) and Erin
Popovich (in Paralympic swimming).
Pian is ranked No. 3 in the United States. Her father, Robert,
is a first generation Chinese-American and both of her grandparents
are from the Tianjin municipality.
Popovich, in her first Paralympic Games in 2000, won a whopping
six medals - three gold and three silver - and set four world
records in the process. She put together what may have been the
most impressive performance of any athlete at the 2004 Paralympic
Games in Athens, Greece, where she competed in seven events and
came home with seven gold medals.
Popovich was born with achondroplasia, a genetic disorder of
bone growth that is evident at birth.
Robinson turned pro in 2002 and has since become the top BMX
rider in the world. His latest career victory was winning the 2006
National Bicycle League (NBL) pro title.
Zimmerman competed at the 2000 Olympic Games, finishing fourth
in the team foil event and 11th in individual foil. She had all but
hung up her sword until the IOC brought back the women's team foil
event for 2008 after its absence in 2004.
(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2007)