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Beijing Smog May Postpone Olympic Events

With exactly 1 year to go, China scrambles to reduce pollution
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 8, 2007 12:53 PM CDT
Beijing Smog May Postpone Olympic Events
Construction workers labor on a building on a hazy morning in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007. Despite billions spent to move refineries and steel mills out of town, Beijing has been blanketed for weeks by choking industrial smog. To guarantee clean air during the 17-day 2008 Olympics, about...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The air pollution in Beijing is so bad that some 2008 Olympic events may have to be postponed. IOC president Jacques Rogge is worried about participants in endurance events like cycling because air quality remains dismal despite government efforts, such as shutting down factories, to improve it. Construction for the Games has actually made the problem worse, the BBC reports.

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Chinese organizers say it may not be possible to postpone events, because schedules have already been decided, but they vowed to work harder in response to Rogge's remarks. He expressed his concerns in his strongest statement yet at an event today marking the start of the 1-year countdown to the opening ceremonies. (Read more smog stories.)

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