From NYTimes.com: Masked Cyclists Apologize to Chinese Officials
The masks, issued to the athletes by the Olympic committee through USA Cycling, were given to about 200 of the 596 athletes in the United States delegation, U.S.O.C. officials said. The swimming team was among those teams that brought the masks to Beijing, said one of the doctors working with that team.
But the cyclists’ grave mistake, U.S.O.C. officials say, was to wear their masks in the airport. Photographers and cameramen captured the athletes on film as the cyclists walked through Beijing’s new terminal. In minutes, those images were on television and the Internet.
If they were given the masks by the Olympic committee, why should the athletes apologize for wearing the masks at the airport? Isn’t there air in the airport too?