What we can't excuse are the masks themselves. Did you see those things? We're not talking your everyday surgical garb. We're talking large, black and gray disguises that covered noses and mouths as the cyclists pushed their handcarts around the airport.
Maybe someone should tell the cycling federation how best to educate their athletes. Example: Bad pollution doesn't translate into the potential for a nuclear reactor accident.
Now, U.S. rider Jennie Reed says she will wear the mask for the Games. Here's hoping someone holds up a sign in Chinese that reads, "LOOKS GOOD ON YOU, THOUGH" as she rolls by.