Minor issues really; only food and air problems
March 18, 2008
The Washington Post reported yesterday that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged that air pollution could be harmful for athletes at this summer’s Olympics in Beijing and said it will monitor air quality daily during the Games to see whether events should be moved or postponed. Last month the US Olympic Committee (USOC) announced that it would be importing lean proteins for athletes because some foods in China have been found to be tainted with insecticides and illegal veterinary drugs, and the standards applied to meat there are lower than those in the U.S., raising fears of food-borne illnesses. Debate over whether bad food and air translate into an advantage for Chinese athletes training in those conditions is being debated.
“The more an athlete is able to train in the same conditions as those in which they will be performing, the better able their body is to adapt and maximize performance,” said Rare Aire, a former Olympian whose ability to fly led to a prohibition on bird-man clones at the Games. “Without question an athlete who has a world class performance while eating toxic waste and breathing coal tar is going to have an advantage competing in that same environment over an athlete whose top flight performance is generated in a locale with clean air and food. The IOC tries to stop secret ingestion of performance enhancing material within athletes’ bodies, but they don’t work to block detriments, particularly of air and food. They Chinese are going to kick everyone’s ass in that pit called the Beijing Olympics.”
Not everyone feels that Chinese toxic air and food will make the Olympics unfair. “Every country has the ability to pollute their air and provide unsafe food to their consumers and athletes if they want to; that is not something that only China can do,” said Hu Yu Kidden, a Chinese Olympic official, geneticist and toxic waste distribution manager. “Besides, that’s just a small part of the edge we Chinese naturally have. We’ve been gene doping our athletes to create muscle enhancement based on our work with the lean, ‘double-muscled’ Belgian Blue cattle breed, and their mutated form of the myostatin gene. In our work with mice we injected IGF-1 genes into their leg muscles, put them on an eight-week training protocol which resulted in 20-25 times larger muscles than the control mice. You think all we’re doing over here is stealing your technology, taking over your manufacturing, building up our military and planning to put Chinese people on the moon by 2024? There’s lots of other progressive stuff we’re doing that you won’t be able to do shit about, or compete with. Silly rabbits.”
In a statement, the IOC predicted that most competitors would not be affected by poor air quality in the Chinese capital, one of the most polluted cities in the world. But in “a few sports” — notably distance and other endurance events — officials said there was “a possible risk.” They said they’d monitor the air, but weren’t sure what they’d do with the information. The USOC has tried to figure out how to avoid bad food dangers in China. It has made arrangements with sponsors Kellogg’s and Tyson Foods to ship 25,000 pounds of lean protein to China about two months before the opening ceremony. Local vendors and importers will be hired to secure other foods and cooking equipment at the Games. Chinese officials have said they won’t allow it. The issue isn’t settled.
The New York Times reported that Belgian Blues with “double-muscles” are unlike any cows you’ve ever seen. They have a genetic mutation that means they do not have effective myostatin, a substance that curbs muscle growth. A result is that Belgian Blues are all bulging muscles without a spot of fat, like bovine caricatures of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Gene therapies are being developed that would block myostatin in humans, and they offer immense promise in treating muscular dystrophy and the frailty that comes with aging. Some experts say it’s highly likely that the 2004 Olympics were the last ones without genetically enhanced athletes and that the 2008 Games will most likely contain genetically modified muscles for which there are no tests or testing protocol.
Science Daily recently reported on the problem. “If an athlete injects himself in the muscle with DNA, would we be able to detect that?” asked one of France’s leading gene therapy researchers, Philippe Moullier, M.D., Ph.D., an adjunct professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at UF and director of the Gene Therapy Laboratory at the Universite de Nantes in France. Right now the answer is no, he said. Some say it’s nothing to worry about and that it’s just proof that humankind can improve itself and should.
“If you use weight loss supplements to get healthier and put silicon in your chest to be sexier, plug implants into your skull so you’re hair is nicer and drink coffee every morning so you wake up quicker and get going faster, why not alter your genetic makeup so you’re stronger, healthier and can kick your competitors ass in the Olympic games,” asked Samwise Gamgee, a short roly-poly Hobbit whose tenacity is legendary, but whose physical prowess has been compared to the Pillsbury Doughboy. “You think I don’t want to look like Mr. Olympia? You think I don’t want to run like the wind and see women tremble at my rippling bicep? I’d of knocked off Frodo Baggins and taken the ring myself if I thought it would make me a kick-ass Olympian.”
In other news, Barack Obama says his pastor Jeremiah Wright was taken out of context when he said god should damn America and that it was our own fault that Islamofascists attacked us on 9/11 and continue to hate us. According to Barack the statements were supposed to encourage Americans to try harder to be better people. No word on whether he was under the influence of bad air or food when he tried to sell the idea or whether he thinks gene therapy will help.
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