After being delayed a year by the pandemic – and still in the midst of the pandemic – the 2020 —– yes they’re calling them the 2020 not the 2021 Olympics — got underway officially on Friday in Tokyo Japan.
In America, NBC has the broadcast rites and they plan to provide more than 7,000 hours of coverage on NBC stations, various NBCUniversal-owned cable channels, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. In the past, NBC has saved some morning events and broadcast them in the evening for prime time viewing. However, you should be able to catch almost every event live, via streaming or one of NBC’s mediums.
Tokyo is 14 hours ahead of Central time. So, when it is evening in Japan, it is morning in the United States and vice versa. Many key events will be held in the evening in Tokyo, and therefore will be in the early morning hours for U.S. viewers. An exception is swimming, where the finals will be in the morning, and so will be in prime time in the United States.
After the opening ceremony on Friday morning Central time, the Games take place over 16 days. Some events, particularly team events, stretch over almost the entire Games. Others cover briefer periods: Swimming and gymnastics, for example, are mostly held in the first week, track and field in the second.
Gymnastics is up first. Men’s gymnastics competition begins the evening of July 23 U.S. time and the women begin the next day.
The men’s team final is at 6 a.m. Eastern time on July 26 and the women’s final at 6:45 a.m. Eastern on July 27.
The men’s individual all-around final starts at 6:15 a.m. Eastern on July 28. Simone Biles is expected to compete for a second straight all-around gold medal in the women’s final at 6:50 a.m. Eastern on July 29. (See? Quite an early wake-up call for West Coast fans.)
Individual apparatus finals are held over the following three days.
Swimming anyone? The first final is at 9:30 p.m. on July 24, Eastern time. Finals continue every day through the evening of July 31.
What about track and field? Qualifying begins in the evening of July 29, U.S. time. The women’s 100 meters will be held on the morning of July 31, U.S. time, and the men’s 100, without the retired Usain Bolt, on Aug. 1.
When are tennis and golf? Tennis runs from July 23 (U.S. time) to Aug. 1, with finals in singles and doubles from July 30 to Aug. 1. Men’s golf comes first, beginning late on July 28 U.S. time and finishing in the early hours of Aug. 1. Women’s golf runs Aug. 3 to 7, U.S. time.
What are some of the new sports? Karate, surfing, sport climbing and skateboarding are making their debuts at the Games, and baseball and softball are returning after a 13-year absence. There are a few new events in some of the traditional sports, too.
When are the new sports being held? After three days of preliminaries, the surfing finals are scheduled to be held on July 27 starting at 7 p.m. Eastern. But because competition may be delayed by wave conditions, there are additional days built in, and the event might finish as late as Aug. 1.
Sport climbing will be held Aug. 3 to 6. Skateboarding events will be held July 24 and 25 (U.S. time) and Aug. 3 and 4. The karate finals will be Aug. 5, 6 and 7.
When do the Olympics end? The final events will be held on Sunday, Aug. 8, and the closing ceremony is to take place that evening at 8 o’clock in Tokyo, which is 7 a.m. Eastern time and 4 a.m. Pacific time.
When are the Paralympics? The Paralympics will open on Tuesday, Aug. 24, and end on Sunday, Sept. 5.