Let’s all agree everyone in MaskGate overreacted. The four U.S. cyclists for walking out of Beijing Airport wearing masks on Tuesday. The USOC for suggesting (strong-arming) that the cyclists apologize to the host country and then publicly reprimanding their actions. The media outlets that treated the story as it might a failed drug test for a gold-medal winner.
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.