Changing China

Giant on the move

Never mind the pollution, it’s the Olympic Games

June 24, 2008

Cathy FreemanFormer Olympic champion Cathy Freeman, the darling of the Sydney Games in 2000, was in Beijing at the weekend with a few words of advice for Liu Xiang.

I also asked her about pollution and, although she is now long-retired, I think her reply might still reflect the attitude of many of the top athletes coming to Beijing. 

“When you become that focused, you don’t really pay that much attention to elements that you can’t control like weather or pollution,” she said.

“In my career I ran in countries where it was 45 degree (Celsius) heat and incredibly polluted but you deal with what you have to deal with.

“The fact that it is an Olympic Games should help you rise to the occasion. Sure, it’s a concern but it’s an Olympic Games.”

Picture by David Gray


Kathy is still as lovely as ever and as straight to the point. A perfect ambassador for Australia. She is right – it is THE OLYMPICS and nothing else should matter. I gave up reading the biased views about these upcoming Olympic Games, in China, from the western media. I am just going to sit back and enjoy watching them. C’mon China and the Aussies!

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