Matt Barnes’ Olympics 2020 blog: Our new home away from home

Japan 2020

Matt Barnes is covering the Olympics for NBC4. He will be providing updates of his experiences in Tokyo.
Olympics 2020

TOKYO, Japan (WCMH) — Today was our first full day in Tokyo and we went right to work to make sure we are good to go once the competitions begin.

After a hearty breakfast delivered to our hotel rooms (and again, the view for breakfast in my room is just unreal), our team of 7 journalists took the shuttle to the hotel where the NBC workspace is being housed. In that hotel is the likes of the TODAY show, NBC Nightly News, NBC Sports, and NBC affiliates (that’s us). It’s a much smaller group than originally planned, due to COVID. So we are all working hard to help the entire group get the content they need.

So what’s cool about the setup is our live shot location is simply up an elevator. I talked with Jerod (Smalley) about his trip to Rio and he had to walk about a half mile to the live shot location, so this is very convenient. Plus, the view from our location is simply stunning: overlooking Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow bridge. We are on the balcony of a 5th floor room, so fairly protected from the elements, too. All in all, it should make for some fantastic shots for you to see.

We had a safety briefing with NBC later in the afternoon to go over all kinds of scenarios from earthquakes to crime. Of course, the main focus was COVID and following all of the rules set forth by the Japanese government. They aren’t overly restrictive, so it shouldn’t be hard. But after living life so freely in America the past few months, it is a bit of a shock to the system.

We knocked a few more promos after that and then, ate some dinner and headed back to the hotel to get some sleep. Soon, we hope to start talking to some athletes virtually who have already arrived in the Olympic Village. As you may have heard, there have been a couple positive cases detected there, so we are eager to hear how the athletes feel about that.

A very productive day here and looking forward to tomorrow as we test some shots and learn more about our surroundings. Until tomorrow, hope all is well where you are!

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