U.S. Cyclists Are Masked, and Criticism Is Not
"The cyclists were the first athletes to be seen wearing masks or doing anything proactive to combat the effects of pollution."
Mike Friedman, quoted in the NY Times:
“This is really a surprise, because I didn’t think it was going to be such a big deal,” Friedman said. “Why we wore the masks is simple: pollution. When you train your whole life for something, dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s, why wouldn’t you be better safe than sorry?"
Exactly. Regardless of how much production China does for US companies, I don't understand why we would risk our Olympians' health and performances in order not "offend" the Chinese government. I mean por favor - this is the same government that developed the mobile execution bus to more swiftly kill its citizens and harvest their organs for sale on the black market...
(Note: photo above is of Bobby Lea, and not Mike.)