By Sharon Udasin and Saul Elbein
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The 2022 Winter Olympics begin Friday, but athletes can expect far more breathable conditions than they experienced during Beijing’s last turn as host city in 2008.
Pollution across China has plummeted by about 40 percent, and by about 50 percent in Beijing specifically, due in large part to the country’s “war against pollution” that was launched in 2013, an analysis from the University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) has found.
As a result of these reductions, the average Chinese citizen can expect to live two years longer, while Beijing residents can expect to live about four years longer, assuming these improvements are maintained, according to the AQLI.
“The air people in Beijing breathe today is dramatically cleaner than it was during the last Olympics, allowing residents to live longer, healthier lives,” Michael Greenstone, a co-creator of the AQLI, said in a statement.