Matt Barnes’ Olympics 2020 blog: Getting ready for the Games to begin

Japan 2020

TOKYO (WCMH) — Hello again from Tokyo, where it remains hot and humid. I truly feel for the athletes who will have to compete in this heat. It is definitely a storyline we will be following at these Games.

Today was a day full of work for us. While the first couple of days were about setting up and exploring our surroundings a bit, today, we pretty much hunkered down at the hotel and started working on the stories we will be bringing you each and every day. So that meant contacting athletes and locals here in Tokyo, setting up Zoom interviews, and a lot of writing and editing. It’s not the most interesting thing to take pictures of (hence my slow social media feed today) but it’s obviously important work.

We were able to talk to two athletes who are currently living in the Athletes Village and by accounts, they are enjoying their stay! Yes, they have to wear masks and socially distance but they are being treated wonderfully by their Japanese hosts and they feel safe. They are tested every day and given enough things to do outside where they all feel safer. It seems like a fun time, even though they cannot mingle like they normally would.

One of the athletes I talked to was Pita Taufatofua. You may remember him as the shirtless flag-bearer for Tonga in Rio and Pyeongchang. Talk about a guy with a positive attitude! He’s such a delight to talk with and embodies the spirit of the Okympics. Yes, it’s about winning medals but it’s also about unity and community. I can’t wait for you to hear him speak about the Games and the Opening Ceremony later this week.

I want to remind you that I’ll be LIVE on NBC4 Today starting Wednesday morning so I hope you’ll be watching. I will be on the air live every morning until the end of the Games with the stories of athletes and what’s happening here in Tokyo. It really has been a cool experience so far and can’t wait to tell you more about both here on the blog and on the air! Keep on following my social media for fun photos and videos and I’ll keep on trying to do a short Facebook Live before I head to sleep (normally around 10 a.m. or so in the U.S. and 11 p.m. here in Tokyo). Thanks for reading and tomorrow, I will tell you all about my 7-11 experience! Yes, I went there but I promised to share my experience first on air! Good night from Tokyo!

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