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Summer Olympics 2021: Schedule, events and where to watch

Don't sleep on those early morning gymnastics events.
Illustration of athletes on the olympic rings
TODAY Illustration / Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled from late July to early August, after a year of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Whether you're wondering how to watch Simone Biles pull off a Yurchenko double pike or you're just happy to see athletes pursue dreams deferred, there's plenty to check out with a whopping 339 events, all streamed in real time from Tokyo.

Still officially called the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the summer Olympics are taking place from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021, in Tokyo. (A few preliminary events happen before the opening ceremony on July 23.)

When do the Olympics start?

The opening ceremony is planned for Friday, July 23, in the evening, Tokyo time. Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone of the United States. The ceremony will begin at 7 a.m. EDT.

  • NBC is airing its first ever live broadcast of an opening ceremony on Friday, July 23, from 6:55 a.m. to 11 a.m. EDT.
  • Next, a special edition of TODAY airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT.
  • NBC's first Olympic daytime show runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.
  • Primetime coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT and runs until midnight.

How can I watch the Olympics?

NBC is home to the Olympics, so tune into your local NBC station for primetime coverage at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT). You can also watch the games on the streaming service Peacock, NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports. Watch TODAY and TODAY All Day for the latest news and interviews from those early morning events.

Below are times for some of the most popular Olympic events. For a full Olympics schedule, go to NBCOlympics.com. If you are looking at Tokyo time, subtract 13 hours for the Eastern time zone, and 16 for Pacific. (Generally speaking, if an event is planned for the evening in Tokyo, it will be morning on the East coast. If it's held in the morning, it will appear the night before.)

Want to see Simone Biles compete in the Olympics? Women's gymnastics begins Saturday, July 24.Jamie Squire / Getty Images

When is Olympic gymnastics?

Olympic gymnastics will be held from July 24 to Aug. 3, 2021 in Tokyo; with the time difference, they begin July 23 in the United States. All times below are Eastern Daylight Time.

  • Friday, July 23 9 p.m. EDT: Twelve men's teams compete for a spot in the final; gymnasts also compete for spots in the all-around and apparatus finals.
  • Saturday, July 24, 8:30 p.m. EDT: Twelve women's teams compete for a spot in the final; gymnasts also compete for spots in the all-around and apparatus finals.
  • Monday, July 26, 6 a.m. EDT: The top eight teams compete in the men's gymnastics team final at Ariake Gymnastics Center.
  • Tuesday, July 27, 6:45 a.m. EDT: The top eight teams compete in the women's gymnastics team final at Ariake Gymnastics Center.
  • Wednesday, July 28, 6:15 a.m. EDT: The top 24 gymnasts compete in the men's individual all-around final at Ariake Gymnastics Center.
  • Thursday, July 29, 6:50 a.m. EDT: The top 24 gymnasts compete in the women's individual all-around final at Ariake Gymnastics Center.
  • Sunday, August 1, 4 a.m. EDT: The women compete on vault and uneven bars while the men compete on floor exercise and pommel horse.
  • Monday, August 2, 4 a.m. EDT: The women compete on floor exercise, while men compete on rings and vault.
  • Tuesday, August 3, 4 a.m. EDT: The women compete on balance beam, while the men compete on parallel bars and high bar.
Swimming begins July 24, 2021, at the Tokyo Olympics.ferrantraite / Getty Images

When is Olympic swimming?

Olympic swimming will be held from July 24 to Aug. 1, 2021. On most days, swimming events happen at 6 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. EDT. Some events listed may be shown in the U.S. on the previous evening, because of the 13 hour time difference. See the full breakdown of the Olympics swimming schedule at NBCOlympics.com.

  • Saturday, July 24, Heats in the men's and women's 400m IM, women's 100m butterfly, women's 4x100m freestyle and more.
  • Sunday, July 25, Finals session and heats session; medals awarded in the men's and women's 400m IM, men's 400m freestyle and women's 4x100 freestyle relay.
  • Monday, July 26, Finals session and heats session; medals awarded in the women's 100m butterfly, men's 100m breaststroke, women's 400m freestyle and men's 4x100m freestyle relay.
  • Tuesday, July 27, Finals session and heats session; medals awarded in the men's and women's 100m backstroke, men's 200m freestyle and women's 100m breaststroke.
  • Wednesday, July 28, Finals session and heats session; medals awarded in the women's 200m freestyle, men's 200m butterfly, women's 200m IM, women's 1500m freestyle and men's 4x200m freestyle relay.
  • Thursday, July 29, Finals session and heats session; medals awarded in the men's 100m freestyle, men's 800m freestyle, men's 200m breaststroke, women's 200m butterfly and women's 4x200m freestyle relay.
  • Friday, July 30, Finals session and heats session; medals awarded in the women's 100m freestyle, women's 200m breaststroke, men's 200m backstroke and men's 200m IM.
  • Saturday, July 31, Finals session; medals awarded in the men's 100m butterfly, women's 200m backstroke, women's 800m freestyle and mixed 4x100m medley relay.
  • Sunday, Aug. 1, Finals session; medals awarded in the men's and women's 50m freestyle, men's 1500m freestyle, women's 4x100m medley relay and men's 4x100m medley relay.
Track and field events at the Tokyo Olympics begin July 30.Getty Images

When is Olympic track and field?

Olympic track and field is July 30 to Aug. 8, 2021. For the full schedule in Eastern Daylight Time, check out the Olympic track and field schedule on NBCOlympics.com.

  • Friday, July 30: The men's 10,000m final; 1st rounds in the men's 400m hurdles, women's 100m, mixed 4x400m relay, women's 800m, women's 5000m; and more.
  • Saturday, July 31: Finals in the women's 100m, mixed 4x400m relay and men's discus; 1st rounds in the women's 100m hurdles and 400mH and men's 800m; and more.
  • Sunday, Aug. 1: Finals in the men's 100m, women's triple jump, women's shot put and men's high jump; women's 100m hurdles and 400mH semifinals; and more.
  • Monday, Aug. 2: Finals in the women's 100m hurdles, men's steeplechase, women's 5000m, men's long jump and women's discus; semifinals, 1st rounds and more.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 3: Finals in men's 400m hurdles, men's pole vault, women's long jump, women's 200m, women's hammer and women's 800; semis, 1st rounds and more.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 4: Finals in the men's 200m, women's 400m hurdles, men's 800m, women's steeplechase and men's hammer; semifinals, 1st rounds and more.
  • Thursday, Aug. 5: Finals in the men's shot put, men's triple jump, women's pole vault, men's 110mH and men's 400m; heptathlon 800m and decathlon 1500m; and more.
  • Friday, Aug. 6: Finals in both 4x100m relays, the men's 5K, women's 1500m, women's 400m, women's javelin, women's 20km walk and men's 50km walk; and more.
  • Saturday, Aug. 7: The women's marathon and finals in the men's and women's 4x400m relays, women's high jump, men's 1500m, women's 10,000m and men's javelin.
  • Sunday, Aug. 8: The men's marathon.

Where can I find the full Olympics schedule?

Looking for beach volleyball or archery, or a day-by-day guide? Head to NBCOlympics.com for the full schedule. Here are sport-by-sport guides:

When do the Olympics end?

All good things must come to an end. The Olympics closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, Aug. 8 at 7 a.m. EDT.