Matt Barnes’ Olympics 2020 blog: Only a few days left of the games

Japan 2020

TOKYO (WCMH) — It’s hard to believe that today was the last Monday of these Olympics. That’s right, we are starting to get to the “last” of everything here at the Games. Part of me is sad about that. The other part is so exhausted that I can’t tell which day and time it is anyway. But that’s the joy of covering this event. There is non-stop action and amazing stories everywhere you turn. Just a matter of picking your favorite one.

Today, I spent the morning at the beach volleyball venue. It’s a cool arena in a great location, near the water. Unfortunately, like all venues, it’s lacking the energy from fans. But the DJ and MC who are there do their best. With dance music and chants for aces and blocks, they make the best out of a tough situation. And they don’t do it to entertain themselves. They do it so the atmosphere is as normal as possible for these athletes who have worked so hard to reach this point. It’s very admirable and I appreciate that.

In general, I appreciate what the Japanese people have done for us visiting their country during a pandemic. They have opened their doors to the world, kept us safe, answered our questions, helped us with anything (and I mean anything) we need, and done it all with a smile and positive attitude. I have nothing but amazing things to say about the hospitality we have received here. I hope to come back one day and visit with no restrictions. And I hope the Olympics make their way back here soon because this city knows how to put on a great Games.

As far as our Ohio athletes, Ohio State’s Anavia Battle did not advance to the 200m final but she has a bright future ahead. So too do Henry and Jack Leverett, Ohio State sophomores on the pistol team that ended their Olympic run in the rapid fire pistol competition. Tomorrow morning in Columbus but tomorrow night here, Joe Kovacs will begin his quest for gold in the shotput. Joe lives and trains in Columbus with his wife, Ashley, who is the throws coach at Ohio State. He won the silver medal in 2016 in Rio.

So there you go. A bit of a love letter to our hosts in Tokyo and an update on what’s happening around the Games. Glad to see Simone Biles is coming back to competition for the balance beam! That will be a huge story here and around the world. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll check in with more tomorrow!

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