Let The Games (Cough) Begin

Buildings seen through thick pollution, Beijing, China, June 20, 2007
This column was written by The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

Today's Washington Post features a front page article on the pollution in Beijing. The summer Olympics will be held there next year and while the Chinese have promised a "Green Games," about the only thing green about them will be the stuff athletes will be spewing from their lungs.

No, seriously: Many Olympic teams are planning to wait until the last possible minute to arrive. Some teams will stay in less polluted places like Macau and drop in when its time to play.

Many a sports federation is trying to figure out how their athletes can compete when the particulate pollution is so intense that the bodies national reaction to is to produce massive amounts of mucus.

Yuck. Green games, I'm sure.

Beijing is booming. The Post says a thousand new cars are added to the city's streets every day. Put that on top of unbridled factory pollution and soon they'll have to add a new event - surviving.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.