China and America, according to much U.S. Olympic commentary, offer a study in contrasts. Though to international audiences, recent events reveal how much, not little, China and the U.S. have in common.
For many people who do not have the opportunity to come to China personally, mere exposure to negative news about human rights and pollution will only produce biased people with incomplete knowledge regarding China.
Beijing is inside a "bowl" formed by mountains to the north that help to trap pollution over the city. And because athletes will be ingesting more air than an average person, the hazard for them is even greater.