Beijing battles smog ahead of Olympics

The fierce fight for medals gets under way in Beijing in a couple of days time. But before that, the authorities in China have another battle on their hands – pollution. The International Olympic Committee has threatened

China said they wanted to host the greenest and most hi-tech games ever. And while the second of these ambitions may come true, the first looked doomed to failure.

The Games are a matter of national pride in China. The multi-billion project aims to show the world that China is able to host such an event.

However, no matter how much the Chinese government spends, there are a few things they cannot control, like air pollution.

However, despite warnings from the IOC, the deputy head of the Russian Olympic Committee has no fears. Igor Kazikov said athletes had the same problem in Athens four years ago, where it was very hot.  

"Sportsmen and women are used to these sorts of conditions as they compete in competitions with rather different climates, Kazikov said.

“It is my personal opinion that in the two or three days I have been here there has not been much smog. There has been sunshine and this hot sunshine could definitely affect the athletes, but we will hope that when the Games get underway it will get a little cooler,” he said.

The Chinese, meanwhile, are under-going last minute rehearsals ahead of the Games. Security is very tight and the authorities are leaving no stone unturned.