Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. women's soccer team will start their tournament while Simone Biles and Kevin Durant lead women's gymnastics and men's basketball

July 21, 2021 02:42 AM
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Simone Biles, Megan Rapinoe & Kevin Durant
Credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images; Alex Livesey/Getty Images; Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Summer Games, competition was actually already underway as Team USA began its quest for gold.

After a year-long COVID-19 postponement, the Olympics officially kicked off on July 23 but the first week began July 20 local time in Japan, with softball and soccer matches.

The first few days of the Games will see medals in diving, gymnastics and swimming, among other sports, as several high-profile American athletes begin with qualifying rounds.

Though international and domestic spectators will not be in attendance due to the pandemic and rising cases of the delta variant, fans in the U.S. will be able to watch their favorite sports stars on TV.

Listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on the Olympics.

Below is a breakdown of when and how to watch each respective sport from July 20-27 (all times are ET).

Cat Osterman
Cat Osterman
| Credit: Harry How/Getty

Tuesday, July 20

Softball was the first sport to begin play at the Olympics with the host nation of Japan, which won the softball gold medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing, defeating Australia 8-1.

Then the U.S. team, competing for a fourth Olympic gold medal, took on Italy in the opening matchup, winning 2-0. Pitcher Cat Osterman, a two-time softball Olympic medalist, returned for her third Olympics along with 2008 Beijing Games silver medalist Monica Abbott.

Wednesday, July 21

Women's Soccer: U.S. vs. Sweden airs 4:30-6:30 a.m. live on USA Network

Softball: U.S. vs. Canada airs 8-10 p.m. live on NBCSN

Thursday, July 22

Rowing: Qualifying heats begin at 7:30-11:10 p.m. on NBCSN

Elsewhere in Japan, softball continues as men's soccer kicks off. (The U.S. men's team did not make the cut this Olympics.)

kristie and sam mewis
Kristie and Sam Mewis

Friday, July 23

Opening Ceremony: Savannah Guthrie and Mike Tirico will anchor NBC's broadcast from 6:55-11 a.m. at the Olympic stadium as more than 11,000 athletes from 206 nations are set to attend. (The network will replay the opening ceremony in prime time at 7:30 p.m.) Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), diplomats, foreign dignitaries and Olympic sponsors are expected to take part, along with members of the media, while spectators were banned from attending because of COVID.

Rowing: Qualifying heats and repechages air 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m. on USA Network

Cycling: Men's road race airs 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m. on USA Network

Tennis: Men's and women's first-round singles and doubles air 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on the Olympic Channel

Women's Water Polo: U.S. vs. Japan airs 12-2 a.m. on NBCSN

Elsewhere in Japan, archery has day one of the men's and women's individual preliminary rounds.

2019 Australian Open - Day 11
Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty

Saturday, July 24

Tennis: Men's and women's first-round singles and doubles air at 2-7 a.m. and 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on the Olympic Channel

Women's Water Polo: U.S. vs. Japan airs 2-7:30 a.m. on NBCSN

Softball: U.S. vs. Mexico airs at 2-7:30 a.m. on NBCSN and U.S. vs. Australia airs 8 p.m. - 1 a.m. on CNBC

Archery: Final of mixed teams airs at 2-7:30 a.m. on NBCSN

Cycling: Men's road race airs 2-9:50 a.m. on USA Network

Women's Beach Volleyball: Qualifying round airs 2-9:50 a.m. on USA Network and qualifying round airs 8-11:30 p.m. on NBC

Swimming: Qualifying heats air 2-9:50 a.m. on USA Network and finals air 8-11:30 p.m. on NBC

Men's Beach Volleyball: Qualifying round airs 2-9:50 a.m. on USA Network

Men's Basketball 3x3: Airs 2-9:50 a.m. on USA Network and airs 8 p.m.-2 a.m. on USA Network

Men's Gymnastics: Qualifying round airs 6-11 a.m. on Peacock

Men's Volleyball: U.S. vs. France airs 6-11 a.m. on Peacock

Women's Soccer: U.S. vs. New Zealand airs 7:30-9:30 a.m. on NBCSN

Men's Street Skateboarding: Qualifying round and finals air 8 p.m.-2 a.m. on USA Network and NBC

Women's Cycling: Round race airs 8 p.m.-2 a.m. on USA Network

Men's Water Polo: U.S. vs. Japan airs 1-2 a.m. on CNBC

Elsewhere in Japan, badminton starts group stage competition in men's and women's singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Boxing's day one in men's heavyweight and men's welter and light heavyweight as well as women's featherweight begin.

Equestrian has its first day of dressage grand prix team and individual competition. Fencing's medals will be awarded in women's individual epee and men's individual sabre competitions.

Field hockey kicks off with preliminary rounds. Judo has day one with elimination and quarterfinal rounds followed by semifinal and medal matches for women's 48 kg and men's 60 kg weight classes.

Shooting begins with men's 10m air pistol competition and women's 10-meter air rifle competition. Surfing debuts with men's round one and women's round one.

Table tennis starts with men's and women's singles preliminary and mixed doubles round of 16. Taekwondo begins with round of 16, quarterfinal and semifinal followed by finals for women's 49 kg and men's 58 kg weight classes.

Weightlifting has the women's 49 kg competition.

katie ledecky
Katie Ledecky
| Credit: TYR Sport, Inc

Sunday, July 25

Men's Water Polo: U.S. vs. Japan airs 2-4 a.m. on CNBC

Diving: Women's synchronized springboard final airs 2-4 a.m. on CNBC

Archery: Women's team final airs 2-4 a.m. on CNBC

Tennis: Men's and women's first-round singles and doubles air 2-7 a.m. on the Olympic Channel

Cycling: Women's road race airs 2-8:20 a.m. on USA

Women's Basketball 3x3: U.S. vs. Romania airs 2-8:20 a.m. on USA Network and U.S. vs. Taiwan airs 8 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on NBC

Swimming: Qualifying heats air 2-8:20 a.m. on USA Network, qualifying heats air 8 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on NBC and finals air 9:30-11:30 p.m. on NBC

Women's Gymnastics: Qualifying round airs 6-11 a.m. on Peacock

Men's Basketball: U.S. vs. France airs 6-11 a.m. on Peacock

Men's Beach Volleyball: Qualifying round airs 8 a.m.-12:15 p.m. on NBC

Triathlon: Men's final airs 5:30-9 p.m. on USA Network and 7-9:30 p.m. on NBC

Women's Beach Volleyball: Qualifying round airs 5:30-9 p.m. on USA Network and qualifying round airs 11 p.m.-2 a.m. on USA Network

Women's Street Skateboarding: Final round airs 8 p.m.-2 a.m. on CNBC and final round airs 11:30 p.m.-2 a.m. on NBC

Rugby: Men's qualifying round airs 8 p.m.-2 a.m. on CNBC

Softball: U.S. vs. Japan airs 9-11 p.m on USA Network

Women's Water Polo: U.S. vs. China airs 11 p.m.-2 a.m. on USA Network

Elsewhere in Japan, sailing has opening races for the men's and women's windsurfer, men's Laser and women's Laser Radial.

Men's gymnastics qualifying
Team USA's Samuel Mikulak celebrates with his coach after competing in the pommel horse event of the artistic gymnastics men's qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on Saturday.
| Credit: Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

Monday, July 26

Softball: U.S. vs. Japan airs 2-5 a.m. on NBCSN

Women's Water Polo: U.S. vs. China airs live 2-10:30 a.m. on USA

Tennis: Second round of men's singles, women's singles and men's and women's doubles airs live 2-7 a.m. on the Olympic Channel

Men's Gymnastics: Team Final airs live 6-11 a.m. on Peacock

Men's Volleyball: Brazil vs. Argentina airs live on 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on USA

Women's 3×3 Basketball: U.S. vs. China airs. 12-5 p.m. on NBC

Women's Street Skateboarding: Final round airs 12-5 p.m. on NBC

Swimming: Men's and women's qualifying heats air 12-5 p.m. and finals air live 8-9:30 p.m. on NBC

Women's Beach Volleyball: Qualifying round airs 12-5 p.m. on NBC

Women's Volleyball: U.S. vs. China airs 8-9:30 p.m. on NBC

Women's Basketball: U.S. vs. Nigeria airs live 12:40-2 a.m. on USA

Press

Tuesday, July 27

Women's Diving: Synchronized platform final airs live at 2- 4:30 a.m. on CNBC

Women's Soccer: U.S. vs. Australia airs live at 4-6 a.m. on USA

Softball: Gold medal final airs live at 7-9:30 a.m. on NBCSN

Equestrian: Team dressage final airs 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. on NBCSN

Swimming: Finals round for women's 200m freestyle, men's 200m butterfly, women's 200m individual medley, women's 1500m freestyle, men's 4x200m freestyle relay air 8 p.m. - 12 a.m. on NBC

Women's Gymnastics: Team final airs 8 p.m. – 12 a.m. on NBC

Women's Water Polo: U.S. vs. Hungary airs live 12:35-2 a.m. on NBC

To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23 and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning Aug. 24 on NBC.