The Tokyo Olympics are closer than ever after being postponed in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Tokyo Summer Olympics logo

The start of the Tokyo Summer Olympics is drawing near after the Games were postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From July 21 to Aug. 8, the world's biggest sporting event will occur in Japan — though might look a bit different from past Games. In March, Olympic officials barred overseas guests from attending the event, including the families of athletes. Only Japanese residents themselves will be allowed to watch from the stands.

But don't expect those seats to be filled — only up to 10,000 people, or 50 percent of a venue's capacity, will be allowed at all Olympic events. This is because Japan is still attempting to control a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, which threatened to delay the Games once again a few weeks ago.

The country is making progress in its efforts to slow the spread — as of this week, Japan is seeing 1,400 new infections a day, compared to 6,000 per day in May, according to BBC.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Man in mask standing near Olympic rings in Tokyo
| Credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP via Getty

Guests will be expected to wear face coverings at all times, and they'll be banned from shouting or cheering. Spectators are also encouraged to travel from their homes to the Olympic venues directly.

But, for all those fans staying home, watching the Olympics couldn't be any easier.

The Games will air on NBCUniversal networks, including the company's streaming service, Peacock. There will also be additional content on and the NBC Sports App.

NBC offers a day-by-day schedule on its website that will be updated as the Games approach.  

According to Variety, coverage will also be available on Sling TV, Hulu Plus, FuboTV and Youtube TV, which offer access to NBCUniversal channels.

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One thing to keep in mind — Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of EST, and 16 hours ahead of PST. As NBC notes, an event that starts at 10:00 a.m. local time on Monday will be at 9:00 p.m. EST on Sunday night, for example.

While events will begin as early as July 21, the iconic Opening Ceremony will take place on July 23. According to NBC, TV coverage will begin the night of July 20. The Closing Ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 8.