What is it like being a reporter at the Tokyo Olympic Games?

Yahoo Sports reporter Hannah Keyser gives you a behind the scenes glimpse into the COVID-restricted world of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and what day-to-day life is like for those that are bringing you the content from the ground.

Video Transcript


HANNAH KEYSER: I'm Hannah Keyser. I am coming to you from Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics that are being held in 2021 because of, of course, the pandemic. My first Olympics, and I hope the only Olympics that I'm attending during a pandemic. So we're going to talk about what that's like.

First of all, it requires a ton of paperwork to get here and an insane amount of paperwork and testing and protocols and time to be a full 24-hours door-to-door to get from Brooklyn to Tokyo. A lot of that was just spent in the airport.

The biggest thing is just how sort of locked down we are. Even though I am across the world and at the Olympics, I'll be going to events, I'm currently at the main press center. Our movements are so, so limited here. We can only be at hotels and the main press center and approved venues. We had to submit to the Japanese government activity plan a list of everywhere we were going to be. And we are limited to those locations, so that's no restaurants, no bars, no walks.

Temperature checks and hand sanitizer everywhere, plastic dividers everywhere, so even to eat in restaurants where everyone is tested all the time and have to sort of be safe and the food has to have tested negative. And you have to report the symptoms every day. Even there, those plastic dividers on a two-person table. So even if you're just eating with one other person, you're on the other side of the plastic divider.

In the media work room where we're doing everything, that's probably not very safe because it's full of people. But there are plastic dividers everywhere, which is probably a little bit of theater. The most difficult thing about the whole thing, the mask-wearing here is really intense, really extreme. They're not kidding around about it. Even outside, even if you are vaccinated, they don't care. Wear you mask everywhere, all the time, every day.

It's going to be a long three weeks in 90-degrees with 60% humidity. But all of this is just designed to counteract the big thing which is bringing 80,000 90,000 people together and putting them all in one space, putting them all in one room to work with, putting them all in one venue to compete, or all the athletes in the village to live together. So it is extreme. It is also probably necessary to get through these games.