Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Local Blogger Wears Anti-Smog Mask To Cover Olympics, Face

As athletes from around the globe descend on Beijing, China for the 2008 Olympics, the concern for many is the air quality in a country who's air pollution has been on the rise as it quickly industrializes. But the athletes are not the only ones anxious over the thick smog and how it might hinder their performance. One local blogger has taken to donning a respiratory mask to lessen the pollution's effect as he types away at his laptop.

Enrico Campitelli Jr., who founded the Philadelphia sports blog The 700 Level in 2003, is in Beijing to cover the 2008 Summer Games and said he's worried the poor air quality might have a negative effect on his writing style.

"I don't want people who read my work to look at this stuff from China and say, "What the hell happened?" said Campitelli. "So, hopefully this mask allows me to keep using words like 'schadenfreude' liberally.

Earlier this week four American cyclists caused controversy when they arrived at the Beijing airport wearing masks covering their noses and mouths. The group has since apologized, but Campitelli says there hasn't been any uproar with his mask wearing.

"I haven't had anyone complain about this yet, although I've been wearing this Chase Utley shirt a lot and that gets some reaction," said Campitelli. "They don't really boo in this country because ... well you know. 'Boos mean bullets' I think is the saying they have.

Campitelli says the 12 hour time zone difference will probably effect his ability to follow some of the Philadelphia sports, including the Eagles' first pre-season game this Sunday.

"It'll be 7:30 on Monday morning here, so let's see, yeah I'll be getting ready to go see either Men's Archery or the Women's Individual Foil," he said. "So yeah, I'm pretty excited."

Coverage of the opening ceremony for the games begins Friday at 7:30 on NBC. Unfortunately for the local NBC affiliate the Phillies will be taking on those dreaded Pittsburgh Steelers Penguins Pirates at the same time. More importantly the team will be honoring Juan Samuel by inducting him into their Wall of Fame before the game and handing out commemorative posters for the occasion. And you know how popular Juan Samuel is. Sorry Olympic games.

No comments: