After a year-long postponement, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are finally here! Though it may feel quite different than Games past (overseas spectators were banned among pandemic concerns and just recently the Japanese Olympic Committee made the difficult decision to ban all live spectators, saying organizers have “no choice but to hold the Games in a limited way”), it still remains the world’s most elite sports competition.
So, where to tune in for Olympic coverage? When are your favorite events taking place? All the details for a fun family viewing experience are below.
What: the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
Where To Watch: NBC is home to the Olympics, so tune in to your local NBC station for primetime coverage at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT). Here are some of the crowd-favorite sport breakdowns (more below!):
Basketball: July 24 – Aug. 8
Beach Volleyball: July 23 – Aug. 6
Diving: July 25 – Aug. 7
Gymnastics: July 23 – Aug. 3
Soccer: July 24 – Aug. 7
Swimming: July 24 – Aug. 4
Tennis: July 23 – July 31
Track & Field: July 30 – Aug. 7
Volleyball: July 23 – Aug. 8
Who: The U.S. roster features a record 329 women (53.7 percent), and for the third consecutive Olympics, Team USA will send more women than men to the Games. Team USA includes 193 returning Olympians, including 104 medalists—56 athletes on the team who have won Olympic gold medals. Swimmer Allison Schmitt, competing in her fourth Games, has won eight Olympic medals, and Allyson Felix has nine medals from track and field and will run in her fifth Summer Games. In women’s basketball, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi travel to Tokyo with hopes of winning their fifth straight Olympic gold medal.
Likewise, Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, is back in the gymnastic arena ready to further her legacy and defend her all-around title! Also, women’s swimmer Katie Ledecky, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, is back having qualified for her third Games. (And here’s an overview of some of the most compelling athletes to watch come Friday.)
Katie Grimes, a 15-year-old swimmer, is the youngest member of Team USA. Equestrian Phillip Dutton, 57, is the oldest U.S. Olympian, and he will be competing in his seventh Olympics.
Also, keep an eye on men’s swimmer Michael Andrew—we interviewed him in Issue Eight, The Spirit of the Games. At the time he told us his favorite accomplishment so far in swimming was, “…becoming a World Champion at 17 years old. Another would have to be my first Olympic Trials where I didn’t make the Olympic Team, but I learned some incredible lessons.” He (and we!) may need to update his response because we’re sure his performance at the Games will re-write his swimming story.
And now some fun updates! These Games will feature four new sports in the Olympics: surfing, karate, sport climbing, and skateboarding. And two returning sports: baseball and softball. (They were Olympic sports in the 1990s and 2000s, but the International Olympic Committee voted to drop them after the 2008 Games.)
Karate: August 4 – Aug. 7
Skateboarding: July 24 – Aug. 4
Sport Climbing: Aug. 3 – Aug. 6
Surfing: July 24 – July 31
Baseball: July 27 – Aug. 7
Softball: July 23 –July 27
The surf will be up at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach on the Pacific Ocean about 60 miles outside of Tokyo, and the karate matches will take place at the Nippon Budakon. Karate is popular in Japan, and the Nippon Budakon is akin to the Yankee Stadium of the sport.
Skateboarding will have two kinds of events: street and park. In the street competition, skateboarders will navigate a course full of stairs, handrails, benches, and slopes made to resemble what a skater might find on a real city street. In the park competition, the athletes will speed through a course with twists and turns as well as high walls to speed up, down, and all around. And they’ll do all of this to music!
There will be three types of sport climbing: Speed climbing is when two athletes race up a 15-meter wall (about 50 feet high) as quickly as they can, and bouldering is when the athletes move across difficult routes of artificial rocks on lower walls. Lead climbing is when athletes see how high they can climb on a super-difficult course in six minutes.
And for even more sporting fun:
Archery: July 23 – July 31
Artistic Swimming: Aug. 2 – Aug. 7
Badminton: July 23 – Aug. 2
Boxing: July 23 – Aug. 8
Canoe/Kayak: July 25 – Aug. 6
Cycling: July 23 – Aug. 7
Equestrian: July 24 – Aug. 7
Fencing: July 23 – Aug. 1
Field Hockey: July 23 – Aug. 6
Golf: July 28 – Aug. 6
Handball: July 23 – Aug. 8
Judo: July 23 – July 31
Modern Pentathlon: Aug. 5 – Aug. 7
Rowing: July 23 – July 29
Rugby: July 25 – July 31
Rhythmic Gymnastics: August 5 – Aug. 7
Sailing: July 24 – Aug. 4
Shooting: July 23 – Aug. 2
Table Tennis: July 23 – Aug. 6
Taekwondo: July 23 – July 27
Trampoline: July 30 –July 31
Triathlon: July 25 – July 27
Water Polo: July 24 – Aug. 8
Weightlifting: July 23 – Aug. 4
Wrestling: July 31 – Aug. 7
It will be exciting to watch all the athletes navigate the Games and compete on a world stage—and we’ll be cheering for them! Be sure to follow along on Honest History’s social channels, as we’ll keep a close eye on the Games for you.