Olympics

NBC 7's Steven Luke in Tokyo: What It's Like Before the Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics run from July 23 to Aug. 8 -- and, because of the pandemic, look very different this time around

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From masks and bus rides, hotel quarantine to some personal essentials, here's a look at how NBC 7 News Today anchor Steven Luke is traveling around Tokyo as he gears up to cover the Olympics.

NBC 7's Steven Luke shares what quarantine looks like before the Olympic's opening ceremony

Luke traveled from San Diego to Tokyo late last week. As he arrived in Tokyo over the weekend, he was required to quarantine.

Under the 14-day quarantine, he's allowed to leave his hotel for quick, 15-minute trips to get essentials. He's also cleared to leave aboard a pre-approved media bus as he goes about his work day.

Steven Luke
NBC 7's Steven Luke arrive in Tokyo ahead of the Olympics.

For his quarantine-approved outings, Luke said he always brings along five essentials:

  • A mask: “Everyone wears them here and it would certainly stand out against what we’ve been told to do if I didn’t have this on everywhere I go,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter if I’m 6 feet or 60 feet away from somebody in public; I wear a mask.”
  • Cellphone: “This is my lifeline to everybody I’m working with here around me, Google Maps, and also, there’s a health check on here that I have to fill out every single day and submit to the Tokyo government,” Luke said.
  • Water: “It’s hot – we’re in the 90s, but with just how humid it is, it feels like the triple digits and it is so intense, that heat exhaustion will sneak up on you if you’re not drinking water.”
  • Media Credential: “This gets me into NBC facilities and in past games, this would get you into the Olympic venues. But because of all the restrictions here, that’s a little more limited this time.”
  • COVID Saliva Tests: “It’s a little tube filled with saliva. We have to fill out COVID saliva tests and submit them so that they know we’re safe and cleared, You have to throw it in a little box just as soon as I get to the hotel where I’m working.”
NBC 7's Steven Luke is covering the Tokyo Olympics, but first he had to get there. Here's some of the sights and sounds from his trip.

During one of his 15-minute outings, Luke sprinted to a nearby Starbucks. It was a literal coffee run -- or the "Quarantine Olympic Dash" -- as you can see here:

Also, Luke noted, air high fives will have to do in Tokyo this time around.

Also, here's a little glimpse of his flight to get to Tokyo.

NBC 7 will follow all of Luke's coverage from Tokyo.

You can also follow Luke on social media:

NBC 7 has full coverage of the Tokyo Olympics here from July 23 through Aug. 8.

Tokyo marks Luke’s sixth Olympics with NBC 7. He has been our NBC 7 Olympics correspondent for Torino 2006; London 2012; Sochi 2014; Rio de Janeiro 2016; Pyeongchang 2018.

So, he knows a thing or two about making his way around the Olympic zones although he notes that Tokyo – with the global pandemic still happening – is already unlike any Olympics he’s ever covered.

For another layer of Tokyo Olympics coverage, check out Luke’s Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo podcast where he sat down with many Team USA athletes training for their chance at gold including skateboarder Heimana Reynolds, long jumper Brittney Reese, and water polo star Jesse Smith.

Listen/Subscribe to NBC 7’s Olympic Dreams: San Diego to Tokyo podcast wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts. On each episode, NBC 7 News Today anchor Steven Luke will sit down with athletes in their prime, each with their sights set on one thing: representing Team USA in Tokyo this summer. How will they achieve their Olympic dreams?


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