Other than those years when a political crisis forces some country to bag out of the Olympics in protest, the Olympics are supposed to feature the world's best athletes. Winning gold in an Olympic event usually means that you are the best in the world. But what if instead of the best athletes in the world showing up only those who don't care about doing irreversible damage to their lungs showed. Well, that's what's going on in Beijing right now.
Today, Haile Gebrselassie, the world record holder in the marathon announced that he will not compete in the marathon in the upcoming Summer Games because he is fearful that the poor air quality and because, well, he likes being alive. Organizers fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg and if the world record holder bows out it's only a matter of time before others follow suit in other marquee events. So instead of Mike Phelps and Asafa Powell, you get Cheech Marin and Joan Rivers. They are the only people who have consumed enough smoke in their lifetimes to withstand the shock to the the system that the Beijing air represents. While those events would be funny, if more world record holders pull out of this Olympics, this thing is going to turn into a joke. It'll be no more a spectacle of the World's Best Athletes than your local high school track meet. And all in the name of appeasing the New World Order. Makes sense, I mean it would have sucked to run in the clear air and crystal skies of Toronto or Paris anyway.