Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Craig Melvin have been largely confined to their hotel which houses their fifth-floor balcony studio overlooking Tokyo Bay and the city’s very own Statue of Liberty.
The fourth host Hoda Kotb has been able to report from the gymnastics competition but is also compelled to return to NBC’s hotel base to ensure their staff remain safe.
The most the team of four have been able to see of the sprawling city is from an open top bus tour afforded them by local officials and sushi that has been provided at a special sitting inside their hotel.
Only Savannah has been to Tokyo before in her previous role as a White House correspondent for NBC, while Al feels a little bit more at home as one of his three children, is working alongside him for NBC in Japan.
Today show hosts Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, and Craig Melvin have been largely confined to their Tokyo hotel as they cover the 2020 Olympics
Savannah and Hoda pose with US Olympic silver-medal gymnasts Grace Mccallum and Jordan Chiles. Kotb has been able to report from the gymnastics competition but is also compelled to return to NBC’s hotel base to ensure their staff remain safe
The anchors’ hotel houses their fifth-floor balcony studio overlooking Tokyo Bay and the city’s very own Statue of Liberty
But they are united in their belief that the right decision was made not to cancel the Olympic Games outright after a year of delay due to the pandemic.
Savannah, 49, said: ‘It’s kind of it’s hard … they’re trying to keep the Olympic press, separate from the population for Covid reasons so we haven’t gotten to intermingle the way we would love to.
‘Normally one of our favorite things about covering the Olympics is getting to know, and really soak in the culture.
‘But from what we’ve seen, we’ve really been impressed and really fallen in love with the people that we have interacted with.’
Al, 66, who is also the station’s main weatherman and known for his jovial presenting, added: ‘Our producers are really terrific at getting over things that most people couldn’t and so we took a bus trip around Tokyo.
‘We were waving to the people and they were just so excited they were waving back, but they had no idea who we were.’
Asked if it was a pleasant change to enjoy anonymity Savannah laughed and added: ‘In New York no one cares who we are, they don’t, that’s New York. But maybe our Al, he’s an American legend.’
Craig, 42, added: ‘I would agree. Al Roker is an American institution.’
Al Interrupted: ‘Or I should be in one!’
Along with the Today show’s household names, NBC has sent 180 Olympics commentators to oversee more than 7,000 hours of coverage of the Tokyo games.
Al said he appreciated the fact that he, fellow anchors and colleagues could be in Tokyo when the rest of the world was barred ‘because we don’t really matter, it’s these athletes, the coaches and the support staff, and those (other) folks).’
NBC personally invited DailyMail.com onto the set in Tokyo as they cover the 2020 Olympics under strict lockdown rules
Savannah told DailyMail.com that while they haven’t been able to soak in the culture, ‘we’ve really been impressed and really fallen in love with the people that we have interacted with’
‘They have had a year of uncertainty. So I think it’s been fantastic. One of the things about the Olympics that I’ve always loved are the stories, the athlete stories and not even just the medal winners, but anyone who gets to the Olympics.
‘People have overcome things that you and I can’t even conceive.
‘We had a triathlete here two nights ago who had gotten into a terrible accident and 17 days later she’s back on the bike… and a few months ago, her father died.’
Craig paid tribute to the determination of athletes who have ensured the games could go ahead too.
‘It’s always ordinary people overcoming extraordinary obstacles to make it here, and to Al’s point, doing it against this backdrop, I think it’s even more spectacular than usual; he said
They said they marveled at a story they heard of a skeet shooter who learned how to fire at targets through YouTube videos and landed a medal.
‘Every single Olympian you see has an extraordinary story and I think, the Olympians from this Olympics deserve an extra medal. They get extra recognition because they faced extra hardship they had to train for an additional year’ Savanah added.
‘They had these extraordinary circumstances and somehow triumphed, and just getting here is a triumph.’
They said they supported their colleague Hoda’s shouting out of support in the gymnastics’ arena for Simone Biles from her presentation point, as Biles quit the team event.
Craig said: ‘What’s most remarkable perhaps, is that the rest of that team was able to pull off that feat without the greatest gymnast in the world.
The talk show anchors (pictured after arriving in Japan) are united in their belief that the right decision was made not to cancel the Olympic Games outright after a year of delay
Along with the Today show’s household names, NBC has sent 180 Olympics commentators to oversee more than 7,000 hours of coverage of the Tokyo games
‘I mean, think about it . . . at the last minute they are told Simone Biles isn’t going to compete with them and what do they do?
‘How they answer is they go out and they win, silver, and I don’t think anyone would have would have guessed that they would have been able to do that .
‘So I think that, you know, obviously the conversation about mental health and expectations and how we treat athletes, that’s a conversation that’s going to continue.
‘But I think that the rest of that team has stepped up in a phenomenal way.’
Savannah said she ‘supported a woman who knows her own mind’.
She added: ‘I think she did what was right for her in that moment, what’s right for her for her own body and she made the decision she felt was best for her team and for herself.
‘She was in a situation where, number one, she felt that she was not performing at her best. She could hurt her team. And number two, if she’s not performing at her best. She could hurt herself.
‘In gymnastics. If you don’t perform at your best, it’s not like swimming, where, okay, you do poorly and you finished last or tennis where you lose the match.
‘In gymnastics, you miss, you could hurt yourself badly! And she had the presence of mind to know that.
‘I think it took enormous courage for her to make that decision on the biggest stages.
‘So, I certainly sitting here, would not substitute my judgment for what she did and I think that this is a moment where we should all extend some grace to her and trust her wisdom and her judgment.
‘She has certainly shown her strength and her grit and her toughness, many many times. And I think if she made that decision we should trust her judgment.’
Asked if Simone should carry on, she said: ‘I have no idea…I can’t even do a cartwheel!’
Craig, had said on NBC that many who criticized Simone on social media were being disrespectful and ‘couldn’t even touch their own toes.’
Invited by DailyMail.com to prove that he could himself, indeed, touch his own toes, he rose from behind the desk and easily performed the feat…much to the amusement of his two laughing colleagues.
Today airs from 7am until 9am on NBC. Check your local listings.