Monthly Archives: September 2021

2020 Tokyo Olympics coverage

Japan, Australia to meet for first event of Tokyo Games

2020 Games begin as Japan, Australia take the field

Olympics-Japan win softball opener as Games ‘of hope’ begin

Olympics-Softball-Japan, rivals dominate their openers as Games action begins

Softball-Italy draws fuel from late coach, seeks first medal – Reuters News

U.S. beats Canada as Abbott strikes out nine

Softball-Skippy the kangaroo will miss Fukushima

Olympic softballers hunt roaming bear, no luck finding it so far

Softball-Japan, U.S. off to 2-0 start as action wraps in Fukushima

Mexico to replace two pitchers after positive COVID-19 tests -coach

Olympics-Softball-Mexico to take on U.S. in clash of familiar foes – and fiancees

Canada seize on Australian gaffes in 7-1 win

Softball-Battle for gold looks down to Japan, U.S., Canada

U.S. overcome Aussie youngster in extra frame to win 2-1

One curve ends gold chase for Canada pitcher out of retirement

Softball-Japan toast Canada in extra frame to set up final with U.S.

U.S. stage late comeback over Japan in tune-up before gold match

No fans? Bronze-chasing Canada pitcher has family on hand

Surfing medals to be decided early, softball in focus as storm churns off Japan

Softball-Mexico down Australia, head to bronze game with Canada

Gen Z debut in Tokyo but will they be back for Los Angeles?

Storm remains threat, bringing rain as it lurks off coast

Softball-Japan shuts down USA to win gold; Canada take bronze  

Japan pip Dominican team 4-3 at the last to open Games’ baseball play

Late rally lifts Japan over Dominican team to open Games’ baseball play

South Koreans strike in extra inning for comeback win over Israel

Soaring heart rates laid bare on TV as archers okay new tech

One-time MLB vets lift Dominican Republic over Mexico 1-0

U.S. thrash Israel 8-1, Dominican Republic down Mexico

‘Best ball in the world’ gets mud bath, gloved treatment

Baseball-Japan slug Mexico 7-4 to advance to quarter-finals

U.S. beat S.Korea to make quarter-finals with Japan

Cute bullpen cart gets mixed player reviews

U.S. pitcher woke to 2 a.m. call of trade to Twins

Israel pounds Mexico out of Tokyo 2020 in 12-5 battering

Umpires feel the heat in longest, hottest game

Foul-ball watchdogs sound their sirens, though few around to hear

Mexico ousted, Dominican Republic get second chance

South Korea smashes Israel 11-1 to advance to final four

Japan, South Korea clinch spots in final four

Boston Red Sox minor leaguers making a difference at Games

Double lives: athletes split time between work and sport

Dominican Republic snap Israel dream in strange 7-6 victory

Dominican Republic rallies past Israel to advance to medal game

Israel’s dejected U.S.-born stars hope to inspire native heroes to fill their cleats

U.S. win relegates Dominican Republic to bronze-medal game

Japan book spot in gold-medal game, Dominican Republic to play for bronze

U.S. set as Japan’s date for gold-medal game with 7-2 win over S. Korea

Olympics-Beach volleyball-America’s Ross and Klineman beat Australia for gold

Golden U.S. duo await music passes to wrap their ‘fairy tale’

Japan a win from gold feel onus to avoid sorrow, boost interest

U.S. coach who won gold in 2000 wants to tell old mates ‘I’ve got two’

U.S. coach finally spells slugger Casas’s name right

Dominican Republic win bronze medal in 10-6 win over South Korea

Japan rejoice over ‘wonderful’ gold medal, pressure off their backs

Baseball-Young pitchers lead Japan to first gold as vets take backseat

Olympics-Will Dodger Stadium host baseball, softball at Los Angeles 2028?


Jumping into covering softball and baseball at the Olympics from the tech beat back in San Francisco was a smooth transition because I am a big fan of bat-ball sports and had the extra year to prepare when the Games were postponed. There are three overarching highlights from Japan:

One was on the field. Experiencing up-close the dominance of these softball players was awe-inspiring. And as one of the only journalists who is watching in person all 33 softball and baseball games at these Olympics, I tried to capture that for readers by describing their repetitive mid-inning routinestheir unchecked emotions on the mound and how they keep themselves psyched up by writing messages on their mitts. In the case of baseball, these aren’t the best players in the world – and they admit that – but that does not mean they are trying any less to impress. Just look at how dejected Israel was with its elimination from the Olympics.

Off the field, I cannot say enough about the gracious hosts who taxied us, interpreted for us, rushed water and ponchos to our outdoor desks, wrapped TVs and ethernet cables every night to protect them from humidity and done tons more to try to make the experience comfortable. These softball, and especially baseball games, were in uncomfortable heat and support staff and volunteers fought through it more than anyone else here to put on a good show for the media and officials in attendance and also for those watching on TV. In addition, as evidenced by my presence, Reuters brings together a global team of journalists from various beats to help cover the Olympics. The pandemic means we couldn’t all meet, but I was privileged to work on the bat-ball action alongside Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jorge Silva.

On the tech side, it was wild using face match everyday to enter venues after writing about facial recognition a bunch but rarely experiencing it in daily life. The WiFi on buses was a lifesaver and I am still stunned by how well it worked. The press conferences were streamed for journalists on Microsoft Teams, which was great because I could remotely ask questions to some players while waiting to interview others in a different area. The experience largely was error-free. I tried to keep my eye on tech stories while there, which is why I wrote about potential bias in archery’s new heart rate trackinga noisemaking gadget that keeps us safe from foul balls and the low-tech measures that make the ball here the “best in the world.” I’m also returned home with some story ideas based on the incredible usage of Google Translate, Google Lens and Yahoo Weather that I saw among visitors and locals alike. I should mention that the robot that entertains during halftime at basketball games, which somehow can swoosh a mid-court shot with ease, was just as creepy in person as everyone on social media thinks it is.

One regret: Some of the bat-ball games were in Fukushima, which is rebuilding from the devasting tsunami a decade ago. Coaches and players talked up the peaches of Fukushima ad nauseum. The prefecture government even showed media a video about their peaches and other agriculture, including what was described as the nation’s finest rice. But unless I missed a big bowl somewhere, no peaches were offered to media. The peach-pie lover in me is excited to return in the years ahead for some fresh pickings!