Australia’s world record-breaking swim team are going to extraordinary lengths to ensure they are not affected by Beijing’s chronic pollution, team officials said yesterday.
Many of the squad suffer from respiratory ailments, mainly asthma, but head coach Alan Thompson said they were fully prepared for whatever greets them in the Chinese capital.
“We’re seeing the pictures like you are and we’re taking all the precautions that we can to assist us,” Thompson said here where the team are acclimatizing.
A haze of pollution has cut visibility across Beijing to a few hundred meters in recent days, jeopardizing China’s promise of a “Green Games.”
Last week Beijing ordered more than a million of the city’s 3.3 million cars from the roads and closed dozens of polluting factories.
Authorities in the capital yesterday said the situation was easing, with strong winds helping to clear the air overnight.
Thompson said his team was fortunate because most of their activities were indoors, but nevertheless no stone has been left unturned.
“Training is indoors and so is eating and sleeping, so we will probably be one of the lucky ones if there is an issue,” he said. “But we’ve heeded a lot of advice.”
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
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