Today in Events: Public Kobe Bryant Memorial Packed with Celebrities’ Heartfelt Speeches and Musical Performances, New Orleans Eliminates Tandem Floats After Two Fatalities in One Week During Mardi Gras, Tokyo Olympics Feeling Impact From the Threat of Coronavirus

1. PUBLIC KOBE BRYANT MEMORIAL PACKED WITH CELEBRITIES’ HEARTFELT SPEECHES AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES: Professional athletes, celebrities, and fans came together Monday at Staples Center for a public tribute to former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the seven other victims of a fatal helicopter crash last month. The two-hour ceremony was filled with tears, moving speeches, performances by Beyoncé and Alicia Keyes, and laughter. The New York Times: “Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, spoke publicly for the first time since the crash, celebrating the quirks of her husband and daughter. ‘God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,’ she said. Three of the biggest names in women’s basketball also spoke, a nod to Gianna’s involvement in the sport and Kobe’s support of her and the women’s game.”

2. NEW ORLEANS ELIMINATES TANDEM FLOATS AFTER TWO FATALITIES IN ONE WEEK DURING MARDI GRAS: A man was hit and killed over the weekend by a tandem Mardi Gras float, marking the second time in just four days that such an incident occurred. The Guardian: “Witness video posted online suggested the man fell at a point in the parade route where there were no barricades to separate onlookers from floats, which often pass close to the roadside. On Wednesday, 58-year-old Geraldine Carmouche was run over and killed by a tandem float. New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell instructed all remaining parades to end the use of tandem floats. ‘To be confronted with such tragedy a second time at the height of our carnival celebrations seems an unimaginable burden to bear,’ she said in a statement.”

3. TOKYO OLYMPICS FEELING IMPACT FROM THE THREAT OF CORONAVIRUS: Though officials are claiming everything is running smoothly, preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which are set to take place this summer, already are being impacted by the Coronavirus, or Covid-19. New York Magazine: “Movement of athletes has been limited, qualifying events have been disrupted, and plans to train tens of thousands of volunteers have been postponed. In public, Japanese officials are doing everything they can to calm fears. ‘There are no considerations of canceling the Games, nor will the postponements of these activities have an impact on the overall Games preparation,’ officials said Friday.”