Gather into the huddle for your sporting update!

The news on Beijing 2008: Six green activists will carry the Olympic torch as it journeys through Thailand on its way to light up the night at the Beijing Olympics this summer. Five provinces neighboring Beijing have pledged to work on air pollution to help the city out in its quest for a breathable Games, and Beijing has announced plans to close some high-polluting gas stations and ban sales of cars that fail to meet emissions standards. Nonetheless, the British Olympic Association has not ruled out that its athletes might wear masks to train and compete; the U.S., Australia, and Canada have all said their athletes won’t wear masks out of respect for China. Inauspiciously, meteorologists expect more frequent and severe sandstorms than usual in northern China this year. And if you’ll be attending the Gamestravaganza, Greenpeace would like you to bring your own chopsticks. Thanks.

The Vancouver Olympics, coming right up in 2010, are highly controversial on social and environmental grounds. First Nations folk say that Olympic construction is messing with their hunting grounds, salmon stocks, and sacred sites. British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell’s office was paint-bombed in protest this week.

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And speaking of 2010: Could South Africa’s electricity woes threaten the World Cup? Well, what do you think?

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Winter seems to be waning — not just for this year, but, like, forever — giving winter-sport athletes food for thought. “Do I need to find a new career?” wonders downhill skier Steve Nyman. “Should I take up kiteboarding instead?” Agrees biathlete Patrick Cote, after competing in an enclosed ski tunnel because of a lack of snow: “What is the point of skiing indoors?”

In baseball-season-is-coming-up-news: The New York Mets drive SUVs! Well knock me over with a feather.

In basketball-season-is-ongoing news: As seen in this week’s Grist List, Nike has teamed up with Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash to release a performance-ready shoe made entirely of manufacturing scraps. (Take that, Air Jordan XX3!) And Magic Johnson and former California State Treasurer Phil Angelides have formed a partnership that “will focus on acquiring, improving and greening residential rental and mixed-use properties in urban communities across America.”

In football-season-is-over news, the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium will be the first National Football League stadium to join the U.S. EPA’s voluntary Performance Track program for facilities with a proven record of “environmental excellence.”

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That is all for now. Go team!