1. Wide of members of US track cycling team members arriving at Beijing airport wearing facemasks
2. Pan between US track cycling team members Jennie Reed and Bobby Lea, both wearing facemasks
3. Wide of US track cycling team members on walkway at airport, wearing facemasks
4. US track cycling team member Michael Friedman pushing luggage trolley, wearing mask
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Michael Friedman, Member of US Track Cycling Team:
"It's just a precautionary air pollution... you know, you got to take every chance you have just to protect the airways you know, I mean it's really just taking every precaution necessary. Who knows how bad it's going to be in a few days so if you can resist any air pollution, any contaminants, then you know it's better performance hopefully. You know, really that's all it is, hopefully for a better performance."
6. US team official with two members of US track cycling team - both wearing facemasks
4 August 2008
7. Wide of haze around National Stadium (Bird's Nest), traffic on motorway in foreground
8. National Stadium (Bird's Nest) and Olympic broadcast tower barely visible through haze
9. Woman on bicycle wearing mask to filter pollution
5 August 2008
10. Australian athletes and officials entering news conference
11. Wide of news conference
12. SOUNDBITE: (English) Russell Mark, Australian Double Trap Shooter:
"To be honest for us, the smog actually helps us. The more the better for an old guy like me. I can actually see those orange discs a lot better in the sky if it's a perfect white background, so as many cars as they can get on the road the day I compete I'd be quite happy about it. I'm not particularly worried about it. Later on in the week when I run the marathon it might be different, but at this stage it's not a cause of concern."
13. Tilt-up from audience to Mark speaking at news conference
4 August 2008
14. Sun seen through haze on Olympic Green
15. Various of police on electric bikes through haze
16. Workers on Olympic Green with public entrance seen through haze
US Olympic cyclists arrived in Beijing wearing facemasks on Tuesday, despite assurances the city's notorious air pollution levels have dropped, three days before the opening of the Olympiad.
Four members of the track cycling team wore the protective masks as they arrived at Beijing's international airport.
There appeared to be less haze over the city on Tuesday, after high humidity contributed to poor visibility on Monday.
The city's Environment Protection bureau put the Air Pollution Index (API) in the 60-80 range, which counts as a moderate reading.
US track cyclist Michael Friedman said the face mask was just a precaution.
"You got to take every chance you have just to protect the airways," Friedman told AP Television.
"I mean it's really just taking every precaution necessary. Who knows how bad it's going to be in a few days so if you can resist any air pollution, any contaminants, then you know it's better performance hopefully," he added.
Team mate Bobby Lea said his mask was also to filter any pollution, while Jennie Reed put hers down to "avoiding germs."
The athletes are believed to be the first to arrive in the Olympic city wearing masks.
Other Olympic teams have brushed off pollution fears, with Australian Olympic officials saying it is not an issue for athletes.
Australian double trap shooter, Russell Mark, said the smog actually helps.
"I can actually see those orange discs a lot better in the sky if it's a perfect white background, so as many cars as they can get on the road the day I compete I'd be quite happy about it," Mark said at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
"Later on in the week when I run the marathon it might be different, but at this stage it's not a cause of concern," he joked.
Beijing's polluted air has been one of the biggest worries for Olympic organisers and prompted drastic measures
earlier this month that included pulling half the city's 3.3 million vehicles off the road, halting most construction and closing some factories in the capital and surrounding provinces.
On Tuesday the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) chief medical official expressed confidence that air pollution would not pose a "major" risk to athletes and visitors at the Beijing Games.
The IOC will receive hourly data around the clock to monitor pollution levels throughout the August 8-24 Games.