In some cases, yes. There was much talk of Beijing’s exceedingly poor air quality in 2008 as the Olympic Games approached, and many precautions were taken by athletes, their trainers, and even citizens and spectators, to ensure that athletes would perform at their peak despite the soot, smog, and dangerous ozone levels. However, once the Olympics were over, talk of air quality was overshadowed by the stellar performance of record shattering swimmer Michael Phelps and the like. It appeared that the air quality issue was no longer a concern to the rest of the world. However, a study was published in November 2009 in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Journal that reveal the extensive research and factual details of the state of Beijing’s air and its effects on Olympic athletes. The abstract reveals that, “The concentrations of air pollution present during marathons rarely exceed health-based national standards…but that [the presence of the tiniest and most harmful particles] PM10 was significantly correlated with performance of women marathon runners.”
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