When, Where and How to Watch the Tokyo Olympics

Team USA Gymnastics
Team USA Gymnastics/photo USA Gymnastics Facebook

Almost all major sporting events were postponed or canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo was no exception. At long last, the Olympics are finally set to take place beginning July 23, 2021. Here is what you can expect and how you can watch.

*We must add, many major news publications report that the chief of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee has not ruled out a last minute cancelation of the Olympics due to COVID-19.

When to Watch

The Tokyo Olympics will commence on Friday, July 23, when opening ceremonies take place; however, some competitions began to air as early as the night of Tuesday, July 20. The games will conclude on Sunday, August 8, with closing ceremonies.

Where to Watch

NBCU (NBC Universal) has acquired the right to broadcast the Olympics until 2032. This means you can watch the Olympics on almost every NBC-owned platform. Some of these networks include NBC, USA Network, the Olympic Channel and several others. View the full list of networks, in addition to days and times the Olympics will air by viewing the NBC Olympic Schedule.

Where to Stream Olympics

  • Peacock TV
  • Sling TV
  • Hulu Live + TV
  • YouTube TV
  • Fubo TV

Olympic Sports

  • Aquatics (including diving, swimming, artistic, water polo)
  • Archery
  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Baseball/softball (NEW)
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling (including BMX racing, BMX freestyle, mountain biking, road, and track)
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics (including artistic, rhythmic, trampoline)
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Karate (NEW)
  • Modern pentathlon
  • Rowing
  • Rugby sevens
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Skateboarding (NEW)
  • Sport climbing (NEW)
  • Surfing (NEW)
  • Table tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball (including beach volleyball)
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

Popular Sports Coverage


Taking place at the Olympic Aquatic Centre in Japan, the Swimming portion of the Olympics will run from July 24 through August 4. Click here to view the days and times for each of the 37 events.

Athletes to Watch: Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky.


The Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics Competitions will take place from July 24 through August 3. Male gymnasts will compete on 6 apparatuses: vault, floor, horizontal bar, parallel bars, pommel horse and rings. Female gymnasts will compete on 4 apparatuses: vault, floor, uneven bar and balance beam. View the gymnastics full schedule here.

Athletes to Watch: Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee.

Track and Field

Olympic Track and Field begins July 30 and runs through August 8. With 13 medalists returning to compete from the Rio 2016 Olympics, the Track and Field section of the Olympics is full of superior talent. For a full schedule of Track and Field competitions click here.

Athletes to Watch: Grant Holloway and Gabby Thomas.

New Olympic Sports

  • Surfing
  • Skateboarding
  • Karate
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Sport Climbing

Opening & Closing Ceremonies

Opening Ceremony

Theme: “United by Emotion”

As described on the Olympics website:

People all over the world spent the past year living under the threat of COVID-19, and the Tokyo 2020 Games will be held in the midst of this unprecedented pandemic. We are all different ages and nationalities and come from all walks of life, and now on top of that we are physically separated. That is why we want everyone to experience the same excitement, joy, and at times disappointment, through the athletes’ competitive performances.

Sport is universal. It is an invaluable treasure that we believe has the power to unite the world through emotion—even if we are apart, speak different languages, or come from different cultures.

In the Opening Ceremony, we will aspire to reaffirm the role of sport and the value of the Olympic Games, to express our gratitude and admiration for the efforts we all made together over the past year, and also to bring a sense of hope for the future. We hope it will be an experience that conveys how we all have the ability to celebrate differences, to empathise, and to live side by side with compassion for one another.

Watch it: If you want to watch the Opening Ceremony live, you can view it on most NBC channels at 6:00 a.m. The Opening Ceremony will be re-broadcast that evening at 6:30pm

Closing Ceremony

Theme: “Worlds We Share”

Watch it: Watch it live on most NBC channels at August 8 at 6am, it will be re-broadast that evening at 7pm

As described on the Olympics website:

The concept “Worlds We Share” expresses the idea that each of us inhabits their own world.

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