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  • (John Daub): So here we are in Tokyo during the Olympics

  • 2020 in 2021.

  • It's been a pretty surreal experience for the host city and for its residents.

  • No international tourism.

  • The streets have been pretty quiet throughout.

  • The Olympic athletes and the international press

  • are inside of a protective bubble.

  • There are no spectators at any of the venues.

  • There's a state of emergency.

  • But, it's not a lockdown.

  • There are some things to see and do in the city of Tokyo during the Olympics.

  • I'm at Nihonbashi right now.

  • Behind me are the Olympic rings.

  • There are several other monuments all around the city that have lit up

  • and brought some Olympic spirit.

  • Down the street there's an exhibit open to the public that I'm going to show you.

  • I'm going to be having my own Olympic event as well by climbing a mountain.

  • And this is what it was like to live through the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in summer 2021.

  • Intro music

  • Irrashaimase! (Welcome!)

  • Peter von Gomm: ONLY in Japan

  • John: Tonight is the closing ceremony for the Olympic Games, August 8.

  • That's the new National Stadium,

  • Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium, where the closing ceremony and the events have been taking place

  • during a typhoon today,

  • which is a fitting ending for an unusual two weeks living in the host city at this time.

  • I came here during the opening ceremony to see how much of that I could really take in.

  • The Olympic Stadium sits on the exact spot as the 1964 National Stadium

  • and has become one of the symbols of Tokyo.

  • On arrival, in front of the Olympic Museum, I was surprised at how many other people

  • turned up to try to catch some of the feeling

  • with living in a host city.

  • (man speaking Japanese)

  • John: I'm just a short bicycle ride from the stadium and, like me,

  • most people here live locally and didn't have to travel very far.

  • Some media were here after completing their 14 day quarantine earlier this month.

  • Tokyo police officers did a good job reminding people to stay safe with masks and distancing.

  • A very hard, but necessary, task.

  • Media with passes trickled into the stadium checkpoints.

  • Hundreds of busses dropped off athletes and volunteers parking on

  • Aoyama Avenue outside the stadium towards the Imperial Palace.

  • There were a lot of busses.

  • I was in the very front with the hope of seeing some fireworks,

  • an Olympic torch runner, or even an athlete procession.

  • After 20 minutes, I caught one of three.

  • Spectators were banned from going inside the stadium

  • and this was as close as someone like me could get.

  • Woah that was awesome!

  • Some who came had the local broadcast going so we could see what was going on inside.

  • I did feel it was worth it to come and feel close

  • to an important moment in the history of my city.

  • The new National Stadium is just one of the many things

  • we could see and experience during the summer games.

  • Around Tokyo Bay at Odaiba the venues had no spectators

  • but in the center sat the Olympic cauldron.

  • Many with the international media broadcasted from the balcony of the Hilton hotel.

  • The Olympic rings in the bay offering the best skyline backdrop for on-air scenes.

  • We'll be back here shortly.

  • Passing Rainbow Bridge at Harumi is the athlete's village.

  • This is one of the things we could see from a distance.

  • A new tradition started recently in the last Olympics:

  • decorating the balconies and floors with the national flags, colors, and spirit.

  • I'd waited for years to see this area come to life

  • and despite the fortifications, locals could come

  • and take a look at our guests' residences inside of the bubble.

  • Many of Tokyo's bridges and towers were decked out in Olympic-colored LEDs.

  • The accent on the city skyline was impossible to miss,

  • especially the 634-meter high Tokyo Skytree.

  • At Asakusa, just in front of Sensoji Temple's Kaminarimon gate,

  • the games blended with Tokyo's historic neighborhood.

  • Up on the first deck we see the Olympic rings,

  • a sight I may never seen again in my lifetime.

  • Seeing this brought back a lot of emotion for those around for the 1964 games

  • and have witnessed the changes the city has gone through for the fast-paced half century.

  • Tokyo Tower was also in the spirit.

  • As was the Tsukiji Great Bridge,

  • the newest on the Sumida River.

  • Back in Odaiba, as the sun set, the Olympic rings lit up daily at 7pm.

  • Most days offered colors in the sky as Tokyo switched on the lights.

  • It's the perfect place for taking in the beauty of the city

  • twinkling on the other side of the bay.

  • A 15 minute walk from here sat the Olympic cauldron on display

  • burning clean hydrogen fuel.

  • A beautiful design with a lot of symbolism of unity.

  • It was quietly moved during the middle of the night

  • after Naomi Osaka lit it at the opening ceremony.

  • It was a popular attraction to visit for locals and visiting media.

  • It was sometimes a little crowded so signs telling people

  • to stay distant reminded us of the times we lived in.

  • I heard the best time to visit was in the middle of the night

  • when the cauldron stood all alone.

  • Shifting back to Nihonbashi where I opened this episode in the heart of the city.

  • The rings here were a chance to snap a selfie

  • but there's a lot more in this neighborhood than just this.

  • Down Chuo Avenue a little ways was the Olympic Agora exhibit.

  • Open and free to the public with an online reservation code to prevent overcrowding.

  • A 10 meter high gold medal in the entrance of the Mitsui Tower.

  • I'm not sure if it's real gold, but what do you think?

  • Olympic art was all over the area.

  • This called, Solidarity and Collaboration, with Makoto Tojiki in Fukutoku Garden.

  • The Tokyo Olympic Agora exhibit was a place I could capture some of the historic spirit to the games.

  • The torch room was incredible.

  • From the first one used in the 1896 games in Athens,

  • you can see not just the technology evolve

  • but each nation's culture in a symbol of the games.

  • The Tokyo 1964 torch looked like a sword, certainly the tallest.

  • Moscow 1980 looked like a space rocket to me.

  • Barcelona [1992, Atlanta] 1996, and Sydney 2000 [Correction from audio]

  • Tokyo 2020 torch was sleek.

  • Cherry blossom petal shape on the top.,

  • Clothing from the recent opening ceremonies.

  • Just before the medal room dating back to the first one.

  • The inaugural games in Athens gave out a silver medal with an olive branch.

  • Copper medals and a laurel branch to the runner up.

  • No gold.

  • The 1900 Olympics is unique in being the only Olympic games to feature rectangular medals.

  • The guild silver medal looked like gold.

  • Not all sports received medals.

  • The record books corrected this later with the top three athletes being recognized.

  • St Louis medals in 1904.

  • Berlin 1936.

  • The medals were larger.

  • When I looked at the gold, I got goosebumps as an alumni of the Ohio State University

  • knowing Jesse Owens traveled here to compete in Nazi Germany

  • winning many of these.

  • A great scene in sports history when German long jumper Luz Long shook Owens' hand

  • and patted him on the back after his defeat.

  • A very historically significant gesture given the times the world was in.

  • Owens was later quoted saying,

  • "It took a lot of courage for him to befriend me in front of Hitler.

  • "I would melt down all the medals and cup I have and they wouldn't be a plating on

  • "the 24 carat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment."

  • The medals got larger and larger.

  • Not made of pure gold, silver, and bronze, but its value:

  • a symbol of the achievement on the world largest stage.

  • Each medal set highlighting the times we lived in

  • and the culture of the host city.

  • The Tokyo 2020 medals are beautiful.

  • The games' logo immortalized on the silver and bronze.

  • The gold plating made from gold recycled electronic parts.

  • Central Tokyo wasn't the only place to see the rings.

  • There was one on the top of a mountain in Tokyo's countryside.

  • It's now 4:37.

  • I'm going to ride the Chuo line all the way to Mt. Takao.

  • This is my Olympic moment.

  • You can see the light is starting to come up.

  • The sun is coming up.

  • This is why it's called, the land of the rising sun.

  • Let's board this train.

  • This is the first train on the line to depart.

  • Almost empty. A way to stay safe and avoid the crowds but

  • also avoid Tokyo's horrendous humidity and sun at midday.

  • There's nobody here. I love this.

  • Ah, so I'm going to hike to the top

  • Get to those Olympic rings.

  • Again this is my... these are my Olympics right here.

  • I have to hike up and get to those rings before the crowds come.

  • I'm gonna come down by cable car so this should be pretty interesting.

  • Couple of hours of hiking.

  • Mt Takao is the most hiked mountain in the world.

  • With over 3 million climbers, it's not a hard one to summit.

  • The air was cool and fresh here.

  • Lower humidity than in the city.

  • The sounds of summer all around me.

  • Relaxing, except when it got steep.

  • Those wind chimes made passing through Takao-san Yakuoin temple really nice.

  • (Sound of wind chimes)

  • The sounds cool you down.

  • (♫ Dramatic music ♫)

  • (♫ Heroic music ♫)

  • It was a good feeling to get to the top, reach my goal.

  • A reminder that Tokyo is more than just the city.

  • It's a prefecture that goes from the Pacific islands to the mountains.

  • So these are the Olympic rings of Mt Takao, 599 meters up.

  • It's pretty special to see these, and if you look through the center of it

  • you get a nice view of Mt Fuji.

  • (♫ Heroic music ♫)

  • The cable car was also in the Olympic spirit.

  • It climbs 271 meters in 6 minutes at 31.18 degrees, making it the steepest cable car in Japan.

  • Back in the city, one of the places we could all visit was the Tokyo 2020 official Olympics store.

  • There were many around the city.

  • Mascots Miraitowa and Someity were on nearly everything.

  • Some of the products I saw were certainly only in Japan

  • reflecting the culture of the host city.

  • Did anything here catch your eye?

  • Let me know in the comments below.

  • One event many Tokyoites could attend happened in the sky.

  • Blue Impulse, an aerobatic demonstration team, of the Japan's air self defense force

  • did a fly by through the city with Olympic-colored smoke

  • making the rings above the stadium.

  • They did this for the Paralympics too.

  • It was possible to see some of the visiting athletes despite the bubble around them.

  • Busses constantly departed the venue, shuttling them around the city.

  • On the corner of Harumi and Ariake, you can see the most busses

  • and even get a wave!

  • Welcome to Tokyo!

  • Some locals came out to give their support,

  • including this man out daily.

  • "Good morning athletes

  • "Even if you don't get a medal, you're still the best.

  • "So believe in yourself."

  • This man impressed a lot of athletes

  • and yours truly who lives just down the street from here.

  • John: Amanda, who's visiting Japan, and one of the first visitors I've managed to see

  • in a very long time, who's traveling from Miami.

  • She's a reporter and .....

  • I met up with a friend who came to Tokyo to report on the games sharing her unique experience here.

  • Amanda: Coming to Japan in the past it was... you just go right in.

  • But this time, because of the pandemic and all of the restrictions,

  • we had to take two negative tests before even arriving

  • in Japan so

  • 72 hours and 48 hours before, and

  • then at the airport it was a long process.

  • About 3 hours because we also had to get tested

  • and once you proved you were negative, then you can enter this country.

  • So it was very, very, long process and then once in Japan

  • also we had to get tested every single day.

  • Put our information, our temperature, in a health reporting app

  • and also a contact tracing app

  • so pretty extensive.

  • The hardest part was actually being a journalist

  • trying to bring stories about Japan

  • in that soft quarantine.

  • So we lived with it and we still figured out a way around it.

  • But there were some challenges.

  • There's checkpoints even just to get inside

  • Temperature checks and hand sanitizing checks

  • and then also the subway.

  • We were not allowed to use the subway for the first 14 days and then after we finally passed through

  • all the tests we were given a special press card.

  • So it's not like a Suica card, it's like your own press card to get on and off the subway.

  • And I think that might also track us as well

  • just to make sure we we're not going off the beaten path.

  • But yeah, just very restrictive of what we can do.

  • I think it was definitely very strange. It was an eery feeling being in the stadiums with no one around.

  • I think the biggest highlight that i remembered was watching women's soccer

  • and hearing the women's voices on the field like I felt like they were right next to me.

  • And they would play some low crowd noise

  • But it just wasn't the same, that same energy that you get from fans and the crowds.

  • So that was definitely disappointing because I know so many people wanted to see these events.

  • I felt lucky to be there so I felt like that extra pressure like, I've got to bring those stories

  • to the public so they know kinda like what the feeling what was going on in the venue.

  • Being in Tokyo, finally when I got out of that soft quarantine