Revolution Health has posted an excellent interview with Jeanette Bolden, coach of the U.S. Women's Track & Field Team that will compete in the Beijing Olympics.
Coach Bolden competed in the 1984 Olympics herself (where she earned a gold medal in the sprint relay), but had to keep an inhaler and other medication nearby because of her asthma.
Although many athletes and fans worry about asthma-like symptoms resulting from Beijing's high levels of air pollution, Jeanette Bolden does not seem too concerned: "I think [tourists who visit Beijing] actually have a lower risk than they would inside the United States. Allergic reactions are a defensive response from the body, and ordinarily that requires that you've had a prior exposure to the allergen."
In her opinion, heat and humidity will be a greater challenge for the athletes. And she ought to know -- she's both an athlete and a doctor.
In the interview, Bolden lists the three requirements that her peers used when they selected her to coach the 2008 Women's Track & Field Team: "eligible candidates must have 1) been an Olympian 2) been a coach for a number of years 3) coached Olympians." Jeanette Bolden meets those requirements, and obviously exceeds them. Out of a large field of former Olympians, she was selected.
Concluding thoughts from Coach Bolden:
"I'm looking forward to a fantastic Olympic games. We have so many wonderful Olympic athletes this year – I just know it's going to be great."