Giant on the move
The snow falling in Beijing on Thursday made it hard to imagine that in just over 200 days heat and humidity will be a major factor for athletes to contend with during the Games.
The withdrawal of the Swiss dressage team from the equestrian competition last week over of fears of the safety of their horses in the humidity of Hong Kong was a reminder of how hot China can be in the Summer.
Beijing may be 2,000 km north of Hong Kong, but in August boasts average temperatures around 25 degrees Celcius, 74 percent relative humidity and suffers frequent rainstorms.
Of course, the Olympics have been held in hot cities before – Athens is not noted for its low temperatures in August, while Atlanta was positively stifling for the 1996 Games.
But combined with the likely air pollution, expectations of record performances in endurance events like the marathon are low.
So if you’re coming to Beijing this Summer, ignore Jason Lee’s picture of the Bird’s Nest in the snow, leave the thermal underwear at home and pack plenty of T-shirts. Oh, and a raincoat.
Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters