The 2020 Olympic Games are finally—finally!—here, after being postponed last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If it seems odd to be celebrating the best of 2020’s athleticism in 2021, well…strap in, because it’s going to be a wild and unpredictable ride. Below, find all the details on when and where the Olympics will take place, how to watch, what sports to look out for, and how COVID-19 is affecting this year’s Games.
When are the Olympics?
This year’s Olympic Games will kick off on Friday, July 23, with the much-vaunted opening ceremony, airing at 7:00 a.m. ET. The Games will last 16 days total, ending with a closing ceremony on Sunday, August 8.
How can I watch the Olympics?
NBC will air the four-hour opening ceremony starting at 6:55 a.m. ET on Friday, July 23, and will re-air them on tape delay starting at 7:30 p.m. ET that night. The opening ceremony can also be streamed online and on the NBC Sports app. Beyond the opening ceremony, all Olympic events will be shown on NBC Sports, the Golf Channel, NBC Olympics, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, and USA Network, and will be available online at NBCOlympics.com, NBCSports.com, and Peacocktv.com.
What are the most highly anticipated Olympic events?
Team USA soccer, which began earlier this week, is a main attraction, as is track and field on July 29 and 20, swimming (look out for Katie Ledecky!) on July 24, and women’s gymnastics, also on July 24 (no, but seriously, look out for Simone Biles, because she’s undefeated). This is also the first year that surfing and skateboarding have made their way to the Olympics.
How Is COVID-19 impacting the Olympics?
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is already making its presence felt at the Games, with multiple athletes—including an alternate on the USA women’s gymnastics team—testing positive and Tokyo reporting its highest infection rates since January. There will be no spectators in the stands at the Tokyo Olympics due to the increasing health concerns, but only time will tell just how severely COVID-19 will continue to affect the proceedings.