But his Friday morning talk (Thursday evening San Diego time) was no mere junket.
Mudd, as board chairman of the local organizers, was in Japan to update 1,400 delegates of the Association of National Olympic Committees — including IOC President Thomas Bach — on the inaugural Games in Mission Beach.
He said Point Loma’s Kilowatt Events — “They have an incredible expertise in building out the field of play” — will manage the six-day program.
(Perhaps anticipating the contract, company sales and sustainability manager Brett Blumberg wrote an Op-Ed here in April headlined: “San Diego Should Leverage Live Events for Social Good.”)
Advertising and “branding” agency Do Not Disturb of Santa Monica Estates in north San Diego will launch a marketing campaign in January. “I think you’ll find them to be very creative,” Mudd said.
The media production company working with NBC, meanwhile, will be Calabasas-based Echo Entertainment, Mudd said.
For a 15-minute presentation on Day 1 of the ANOC General Assembly (about 1 hour, 44 minutes into video above), Mudd was followed onto the stage by Olympian Willie Banks of Carlsbad, president and CEO of the Beach Games.
Mudd told delegates from 206 Olympic nations that “Mr. Willie Banks is not standing behind me as my bodyguard.”
In the interest of time, he said, the pair decided Mudd would do the talking.
“But [Banks] promised me and I promised him that these Games would be about the athletes and about the families,” said Mudd, who noted the event would start in “315 days, 6 hours and 9 minutes — not that anyone’s counting.”
Mudd stressed the “sustainable” nature of the event, where the skateboard park would be “fully modular.”
“It can be built in less than four days and taken down in two days,” he said at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa.
Besides two 2,500-seat beach stadia — for major “action sports” like 3-on-3 basketball and bouldering — an outdoor venue with room for 20,000 will be prepared for the nightly Culture and Music Festival.
“It’ll be one of the largest outdoor concerts that we’ve had in San Diego,” Mudd said — apparently not counting concerts at Petco Park or the Mission Valley stadium.
Also: “We will show up on the beach on Sept. 26. We will [launch] the Games on Oct. 10. We will return the beach back to the community on Oct. 18. Nothing will be left, and that’s a sustainable business model.”
Calling South Mission Beach “an iconic area of San Diego,” Mudd shared a “very tight site plan” where all the 1,300-plus athletes from scores of nations will be able to watch each other compete.
Medal rounds will be held each day, he said, and the goal is to have equal numbers of men and women. (Mudd said another aim is to grow female participation and fan interest.)
Athletes will stay at five Hotel Circle hotels, like the Town & Country resort, only five miles from the beach.
”There may be a chance that one athlete might be late, but we’re going to do everything that we can to get the athletes to their field of play,” he said.
Near the venues (with 15 sports and 17 disciplines), athletes will eat from food trucks — “something that’s very California,” Mudd informed the annual assembly (which meets in San Diego next year).
He expects the trucks to serve around “16 different national foods.”
But the main attraction will be medals.
Salva Ramirez, managing director of Spain-based JTA Design, unveiled the medal design with a short video.
Ramirez, who also led the team designing the Games logo, said an inspiration for the medal was a world champion skateboarder who stressed the event being in touch with nature.
“So why not represent the creatures of the sea and the beach to reflect this unique connection to nature?” he asked.
The result: coral, dolphins, shells, crabs and fish in the middle of the medal. Even the shape of the prize is organic — angular “like a beach stone.”
“I think you will agree that this is a unique medal for a unique Games,” Ramirez said. “I’m really looking forward to the world’s best athletes … wearing them proudly on the podium.”