Google made an elaborate 16-bit video game that pays homage to Japan hosting the Olympics, and you can play it for free right now

Google's Olympics-themed game, "Doodle Champion Island Games."
“Doodle Champion Island Games” is Google’s Olympics-themed game that’s free on the Google homepage.

  • In honor of the Olympics, Google just turned its homepage into a video game platform with one game.
  • “Doodle Champion Island Games” is a free, adorable homage to Japan’s history of video game production.
  • The game was produced in collaboration with Tokyo animation firm STUDIO4°C.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

With the Olympic Games kicking off this week, Google is paying homage to its host city of Tokyo with a full-on video game.

If you head over to Google’s homepage, you’ll find a play button that opens a surprisingly elaborate video game named “Doodle Champion Island Games.”

It costs nothing, is fun to play, and even remembers where you left off if you close the window.

Read more: Netflix’s new video-game strategy will live or die by how well it can create mega movie and TV franchises

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 (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The 10 US colleges best-represented at the Tokyo Olympic Games

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - JUNE 27: Jordan Chiles competes on the uneven bars during the Women's competition of the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials at America’s Center on June 27, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
First-time Olympic gymnast Jordan Chiles is also an incoming freshman at UCLA.

  • Polina Marinova is the founder of The Profile, a newsletter that profiles successful people and companies.
  • The following is a recent The Profile post, republished here with permission.
  • In it, she breaks down the top 10 US colleges that are sending the most alumni and athletes to the 2020 Olympics.

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

University of Notre Dame.
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.”

Read a profile on Zagunis here.

9. Penn State University

Penn State University
Penn State University.

Number of athletes: 10

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.

Read a profile on Naeher here.

8. University of Oregon

University of Oregon
University of Oregon.

Number of athletes: 11

Events: Softball, baseball, and track & field

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.

Read a profile on Williams here.

7. University of Florida

University of Florida campus

Number of athletes: 14

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.

Read a profile of Dressel here.

6. University of Georgia

University of Georgia
The University of Georgia.

Number of athletes: 15

Events: Swimming and track & field

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.”

Read a profile on Schmitt here.

5. University of Southern California

usc
The statue called ‘Tommy Trojan’, the mascot of USC from 1930 located at the center of the USC campus on September 23, 2015, three weeks before the USC announced they have fired Trojans football coach Steve Sarkisian.

Number of athletes: 16

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.

Read a profile on Jewett here.

4. University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley cover image
UC Berkeley campus

Number of athletes: 16

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.

Read a profile on Morikawa here.

3. University of Texas

University of Texas
University of Texas

Number of athletes: 16

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.

Read a profile on Windle here.

2. UCLA

UCLA

Number of athletes: 21

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.”

Read a profile on Chiles here.

1. Stanford University

Stanford University

Number of athletes: 32

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.”

Read a profile on Ledecky here.

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An American father and son will serve prison time for helping ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn in his dramatic escape from Japan in a box

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn wears a black suit jacket, white shirt and pink tie.
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn faces charges of financial misconduct in Japan

  • Two Americans will serve prison time for helping ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn flee Japan in 2019.
  • Michael and Peter Taylor admitted to assisting Ghosn’s escape to Lebanon in a metal box.
  • Ghosn was on bail and facing trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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.

The Taylors admitted in June to helping the ex-Nissan chairman escape on a private jet from Japan where he had been facing a trial over financial misconduct charges. US authorities arrested the pair in Massachusetts in May 2020 and extradited them to Japan in March this year, per the AP.

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.

Read more: Carlos Ghosn’s transformation from business icon to international fugitive was entirely predictable, industry leaders say. But his next act could surprise everyone.

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.

The men helped Ghosn board a private jet from Osaka to Istanbul, and then on to Beirut. Ghosn told the BBC in a recent interview that waiting for the plan to take off was “probably the longest wait” of his life. Lebanon, where Ghosn spent time as a child, does not have an extradition agreement with Japan.

“Because of this case, Ghosn, a defendant facing serious charges, was able to escape overseas,” Chief Judge Hideo Nirei told the courtroom Monday, per The Washington Post, which cited media pool reports from the court hearing. “It has been one and a half years since the escape, and there is still no prospect of a trial. The consequences of this case are very large.”

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.

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First lady Jill Biden to attend opening ceremony of Summer Olympics in Tokyo next week

first lady jill biden
First lady Jill Biden speaks before the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee at Disney World on Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

  • First Lady Jill Biden will lead the US delegation at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
  • The opening ceremony of the games takes place on July 23.
  • Tokyo is currently under a state of emergency due to a surge in coronavirus cases.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

First lady Jill Biden will attend the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on July 23, her office announced Tuesday.

The first lady will lead the US delegation at the games next week on her first solo trip abroad. President Joe Biden will not attend, but plans to cheer on the athletes from home, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month.

The travel plans come as Tokyo is experiencing a spike in coronavirus infections, entering a new state of emergency that started Monday and will last until August 22. The games end on August 8.

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.”

The first lady previously led the US delegation to the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Canada alongside then-Vice President Biden in 2010.

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A giant, life-like cat watches over crowds on a new Tokyo billboard – and people can’t get enough of it

cat on tokyo billboard
  • A giant 3D cat is on display on a Tokyo billboard.
  • It was organized by local businesses to cheer people up, as Reuters reported.
  • The life-like calico can be seen perched on a bookshelf towering over one of the city’s busiest areas.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A giant 3D cat is currently displayed on a Tokyo billboard towering over a busy part of the city.

As Reuters reported, local businesses organized the display to cheer people up.

The giant calico, seen moving in life-like motions, appears perched on a bookshelf.

“With the pandemic, we don’t have any way to chill out,” one hotel employee who was watching the cat told CBS News. “We’re dog people, but the cat is so adorable, it’s soothing.”

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Tokyo Olympics organizers are handing out more than 150,000 condoms to athletes – but also asking recipients not to use them at the Olympic village

A single bed with a blanket reading Tokyo 2020 in Japan
A bed in the Olympic village in Tokyo.

  • Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics plan to hand out more than 150,000 condoms to athletes.
  • They’ll also ask the more than 11,000 athletes at the games to continue social distancing.
  • “The distributed condoms are not meant to be used at the Olympic Village,” an official told AFP.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics plan to hand out more than 150,000 condoms to the world’s top athletes – but will also ask them to not use them at the Olympic village, according to multiple reports.

The organizing committee made the request last week, Agence France-Presse reported.

The wire service said Japan’s condom industry feared an “anticlimax” at the event, which is expecting to bring more than 11,000 athletes to Tokyo. Many will stay in the Olympic Village.

A guard in blue stands in front of the Tokyo Olympics Athletes Village fence
A guard at the Olympic village in May.

Condoms have been handed out to Olympians since at least the 1988 Summer Olympics in South Korea.

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.”

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Inside the largest fish market in the world, where a single tuna can sell for up to $3 million

  • The Toyosu Market in Tokyo is the largest fish market in the world, and is home to world-famous tuna auctions.
  • Expert bidders flock to the market each morning for a chance to buy top-tier tuna, sometimes paying as much as $3 million.
  • We followed a veteran tuna bidder, who explained the ins and outs of tuna auctions and his industry’s role in marine sustainability.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
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A Reddit-inspired bar in Tokyo caters to newbie investors where seasoned traders offer hot stock tips – and customers can try drinks like the ‘Margin Call’ and ‘Lehman Shock’

gettyimages 1232030579 594x594
  • An investing influencer has opened a bar that’s popular for stock-trading tips in Tokyo.
  • Many experienced traders visit, offering investment advice to those looking to grow their money.
  • It offers unique investing-themed drinks like the “Margin Call,” the “Lehman Shock,” and “Abenomics.”
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

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.

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Overseas spectators will be barred from the Tokyo Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers say

Olympics
Concerns had been raised about COVID-19 safety measures before organizers made the announcement.

  • Spectators from overseas will not be able to attend this year’s Olympics.
  • Organizers made the major concession to allow the event to take place.
  • The games are due to commence in July after being rescheduled last year.

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.

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The Tokyo 2020 Olympics may cost more than $26 billion – and the estimate keeps rising

  • The cost to put on the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is estimated at more than $26 billion.
  • Postponing the games for one year added another $2.8 billion to the estimated total.
  • The Japanese public is largely opposed to holding the games, and there’s still a chance they will be canceled.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

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.

Watch the story on Business Insider Today »

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