The game – made in collaboration with Tokyo-based animation firm STUDIO4°C – is playable directly in-browser using the arrow keys and space bar. It stars an adorable calico cat named Lucky who’s able to participate in a variety of sporting events.
A table tennis event and a skateboarding event were standouts in the short time we spent with the game, but there’s a whole bunch more game in there – at least seven games in total, in addition to “extra hidden challenges,” according to Google’s blog post.
If nothing else, do yourself a favor and enjoy the aggressively charming intro video right here:
Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.
In March of 2020, Brooke Forde packed up and left campus as Stanford University and colleges around the nation paused in-person classes due to a global pandemic.
Then, she found out something else was being put on hold: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Forde, a student at Stanford, had also been a first-time Olympic hopeful. The last few months have served as a stress test for the 22-year-old swimmer, whose road to Tokyo has anything but straightforward. She overcame two COVID-19 scares, a mid-meet panic attack, and a nerve-wracking Olympic Trials experience.
Despite it all, she ultimately secured a spot on Team USA at the Olympic Games and got to say: “I’m Brooke Forde, and I’m a Tokyo Olympian.”
Joining her in Tokyo will be 31 other current and former Stanford athletes – among them swimmers Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Torri Huske, and Regan Smith.
Stanford students and alumni will participate in swimming, water polo, sailing, rowing, volleyball, gymnastics, cycling, soccer, fencing, and track & field this year, according to information provided to The Profile by the US Olympic Committee.
The university has produced at least one medalist in every Olympics in which the US has competed since 1912, including a school-record 27 medals in 2016.
More than 75% of the 2020 US Olympic team competed in collegiate athletics at the varsity and club levels.
Here are the 10 US colleges that will be best-represented at the Olympic Games:
(Note: This list includes athletes who have already finished their collegiate careers, those currently competing, and incomers who have signed National Letters of Intent. If an athlete competed at two different schools, they have been counted at the school they have most recently attended.)
10. University of Notre Dame
Number of athletes: 10
Events: Fencing, basketball, and track & field
Athlete Spotlight:Mariel Zagunis, a Notre Dame alumna, is the most decorated US fencer of all time. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Zagunis will embark on her fifth consecutive trip to the Olympics this year.
“I’ve done a lot for my sport already,” she said. “I’m not trying to prove anything to anybody except to myself that I’m still a good fencer and I’m capable of beating the best in the world and becoming Olympic champion once again.”
Events: Soccer, fencing, wrestling, volleyball, rugby, track & field
Athlete Spotlight: When she was growing up, Alyssa Naeher had dreams of making it to the WNBA.
“If I’m being honest, basketball was my first love,” said Naeher, an ’09 Penn State graduate. “I wanted to play basketball at UConn. We obviously didn’t really have a [pro women’s soccer league] of our own yet.”
Today, Naeher has channeled that same passion into become a confident and record-setting goalkeeper for the Chicago Red Stars and United States Women’s National Soccer Team. “The only thing I can control is my effort on the field – working hard, keeping my head down, being there, pushing myself, pushing my teammates, and trying to get better,” she said.
Athlete Spotlight: Freshman Micah Williams is University of Oregon’s star sprinter. He has already won a national indoor championship after tying a school record with a 60-meter time of 6.49 seconds. Williams and fellow Olympian Cravon Gillespie became the first Oregon men’s sprinters in program history to make the US Olympic team.
Events: Softball, basketball, swimming, baseball, and track & field
Athlete Spotlight: Caeleb Dressel has been called “swimming’s reluctant star” for a reason. Dressel constantly draws comparisons to legendary Olympian Michael Phelps, and he couldn’t be less interested in external expectations or comparisons.
“I swim different events than Michael,” he said. “I’m not chasing someone else’s goals. I want to chase my own.”
Dressel, who graduated from the University of Florida in 2018, has claimed 15 world championship medals, 13 of them gold, since 2017, making him one of the biggest stars in swimming. At the Tokyo Olympics, he is a favorite to win six gold medals for Team USA.
Athlete Spotlight: Swimmer Allison Schmitt is an eight-time Olympic medalist with four golds, two silvers, and two bronzes. Schmitt qualified for her fourth Olympics, which puts her at one short of the record for American women’s swimming.
Schmitt, who graduated from the University of Georgia in 2013, said, “This one is definitely the most emotional, and I think it’s special to be here at 31 [years old] and have everyone in the stands that’s here supporting me … and have been along on this journey the past four years.”
Events: Water polo, swimming, beach volleyball, volleyball (court), and track & field
Athlete Spotlight: Isaiah Jewett may be a track star at USC, but he’s also a student who needs to complete his homework. In June, he qualified for his first Olympic Games after finishing second in the men’s 800-meter run. In his post-race press conference, he revealed that although he was excited, he was also really worried about completing his 10-page paper that was due in just a few hours.
“My legs feel really good. Mentally I’m tired. I need to sleep. I have a 10-page essay due tonight,” he said. “I’m mentally trying to re-focus and get that done because it’s due tonight and my teacher didn’t give me an extension.” He submitted his paper at 11:50 p.m. that night.
Events: Swimming, water polo, rowing, soccer, golf, rugby, table tennis, and softball
Athlete Spotlight: Twenty-four-year-old Collin Morikawa has already made history. Earlier this month, he became the first golfer in history to win his debut at two different major events. Additionally, he became the eighth golfer ever to win two majors before turning 25. More so than anything, Morikawa is really charismatic.
Here’s how writer Kyle Porter described him: “He’s clean-cut and buttoned-up. He’s fresh and likable. He has not made any public mistakes nor had to watch himself suffer.” Morikawa is considered one of the top US golfers set to compete at the Olympics. This ’19 Cal graduate is definitely one to watch.
Events: Diving, swimming, rowing, basketball, softball, volleyball (court), and track & field
Athlete Spotlight: Jordan Windle, who is returning for a fifth year at the University of Texas, executed a near perfect dive during the Olympic trials. After three attempts at qualifying for the Olympic Games, Windle’s efforts finally paid off. Windle has a long history of not giving up, though.
Born in Cambodia, Windle was placed in an orphanage about a year after his parents died tragically. Meanwhile, a retired naval officer named Jerry Windle wanted to start a family but struggled to adopt as a single, gay man in the US He read about someone who had adopted a child from Cambodia, and five months later, he found and adopted Jordan, who had been suffering from malnutrition, scabies, intestinal parasites and severe infections. Today, the father-son duo are inseparable.
“I hope that Jordan’s story, our story, inspires people to give children the opportunity to do amazing things,” Jerry said.
Events: Gymnastics, soccer, softball, baseball, basketball, tennis, volleyball (court), beach volleyball, and water polo
Athlete Spotlight: Jordan Chiles has a lot going on in 2021. She is an incoming freshman at UCLA, and she’s also a first-time Olympian competing alongside teammates including gymnastics legend Simone Biles. Chiles is expected to be a Tokyo breakout star three years after nearly quitting gymnastics.
“I didn’t think the sport wanted me anymore,” she said. “So I went in the opposite direction.” She had lost all confidence and motivation – until she had a talk with Biles. Biles took on the role of Chiles’s big sister, repeating to her these three words: “You belong here.”
Events: Swimming, artistic swimming, water polo, sailing, rowing, beach volleyball, volleyball (court), gymnastics, cycling, soccer, fencing, track & field
Athlete Spotlight: At the 2016 Olympics, Katie Ledecky was an incoming freshman at Stanford University. In 2021, she’s a recent grad with a degree in psychology and a total of six Olympic medals (five gold, one silver). In the last year, the 24-year-old competitive swimmer has done more solo training than ever before. It makes the already unusual run-up to the Tokyo Olympics even more so for the most dominant swimmer on the planet.
“The most important expectations are the ones that I have for myself,” she said. “I do a pretty good job of sticking to those and not seeing what kinds of medal counts or times that people are throwing out about what I could accomplish if everything goes perfectly.”
A Japanese court sentenced an American father and son to prison for their role in helping smuggle former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn from Japan to Lebanon in 2019.
Former US special forces veteran Michael Taylor, 60, was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday for aiding the escape of a criminal, while his son Peter Taylor, 28, was given a one year and eight month-term on the same charges, per the Associated Press.
Prosecutors said Michael Taylor met Ghosn’s wife Carole in Lebanon in June 2019 where she convinced him to help orchestrate her husband’s escape, The Wall Street Journal reported. The younger Taylor met with Ghosn during numerous trips to Japan over the next few months, with Ghosn transferring more than $860,000 to his marketing firm to finance the plan, the prosecutors said, per the WSJ.
On December 29 2019, the elder Taylor traveled with another man, George-Antoine Zayek, to Kansai International Airport in Osaka posing as musicians. The pair brought a large metal box normally used to transport audio equipment to hide Ghosn, drilling breathing holes in the side, The Washington Post reported, citing Japanese prosecutors.
That same day, Ghosn traveled with the elder Taylor and Zayek to a hotel close to Kansai airport. Only Taylor and Zayek were spotted leaving the building with the metal box.Zayek has not been arrested, The Washington Post reported.
Japanese authorities arrested Ghosn in 2018 on charges of financial mismanagement. He is accused of underreporting his pay over multiple years and breach of trust, by using Nissan finances for his own personal gain. He denies all charges.
Nissan did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The move prompted Olympics organizers to ban all spectators from attending the games in person at stadiums and arenas. This comes after the Olympics had already been postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Psaki told reporters on June 28 that the White House planned to send a delegation to the games “as we have historically had” and that it “will continue to also convey the public health guidelines and guidance that we’ve been delivering out there about only essential travel.”
At the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, about 110,000 condoms were handed out, Insider reported at the time.
About 100,000 were distributed during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. About 450,000 male and female condoms were handed out at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Athletes arriving in Tokyo this summer will be told to continue social distancing. They’ll be asked to bring the condoms to their home countries as a way of raising awareness of HIV and AIDS, Reuters reported.
When the International Olympic Committee rolled out its rules in February, they included a ban on physical contact between athletes. RT reported on the social media backlash, quoting a Twitter user who said there would be a “0% chance they will not be having sex.”
Tokyo now has a Reddit-inspired bar where seasoned traders provide newbie investors with trading tips, Bloomberg reported.
An investing influencer, who goes by the name Satoshi Uehara on Twitter, opened “Stock Pickers” in early March after a crowd-funding campaign raked in more than $50,000, or about six times the target.
The bar’s PR manager, Riki Yamauchi, told Bloomberg many novice investors visit the bar to meet Uehara and other experienced traders to gain an understanding of investing and stock valuations.
“People’s mentality is changing — you really have to think about how to structure your wealth,” Yamauchi, who is a financial professional himself, said. He said many youngsters have become more open to investing after Japan’s economy saw 30 years of near-stagnation.
Millions of retail investors accounted for a large part of stock-market activity during the pandemic, when people were stuck at home and began exploring easy-to-navigate online trading platforms.
At the bar, there are books on value investing and advice from legendary investor Warren Buffett. A model cannon used to symbolize the central bank’s asset-buying capacity can be found in one part of the bar, where a sign states: “Don’t fight the NIPPON GINKO (the Bank of Japan).”
Customers can also order investing-themed drinks, according to Bloomberg. The “Margin Call” – made with vodka, grenadine, and Campari – is said to have a biting taste meant to stir up bitter feelings traders may experience when summoned with the brokerage demand. The “Lehman Shock” is a punchy drink named after the investment bank at the centre of the global financial crisis. The “Abenomics” – made with cherry blossom syrup and grapefruit juice – is said to be less heavy than investors would hope.
“Stock Pickers” is not just popular among the newbie investors. It’s also had many visits from institutional investors. That may be because of Reddit and GameStop, according to Yamauchi. “People really care about what retail is thinking,” he said.
The bar opened when Tokyo was still in a state of COVID-19 emergency, but is able to function under shortened operating hours.
Overseas spectators will be barred from attending the summer Olympics in Japan, the organizing committee confirmed on Saturday, according to multiple reports.
The Tokyo event, which is due to commence in July, was originally scheduled for 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Concerns over safety measures have been raised over the past months, given that the pandemic is not yet over.
Some Japanese outlets had anticipated the decision to ban international fans – made by the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee and the national and local governments in Japan – for some time.
Refunds will be offered to those who have already bought tickets. Tokyo Organising Committee CEO, Toshiro Muto, confirmed that around 600,000 Olympic tickets and around 30,000 Paralympic tickets will need to be compensated, Sky News reported.
Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics are already the most expensive summer games ever.
And that’s before the games have even taken place.
The Japanese public is largely against holding the Olympics, and there’s no guarantee they will happen at all. Now, the City of Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee, and athletes themselves are bleeding cash to keep the dream alive.