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Olympic documentaries highlight Peacock streaming content

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Ryan Lochte, the 2008 Olympic 4x100m freestyle relay and a new group of the world’s fastest sprinters are subjects of Olympic sports documentaries slated for Peacock, NBC’s free premium ad-supported streaming service with subscription tiers.

The docs are among expected programming on Peacock Premium, bundled at no additional cost to 24 million Comcast and Cox subscribers and $4.99 per month for non-bundled customers.

Peacock Premium launches April 15 for Xfinity X1 and Flex customers. On July 15, Peacock Free and Peacock Premium will be available nationally, a week before the Tokyo Olympics.

Peacock will have live coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony on July 24, before it airs on primetime. Same with the Closing Ceremony on Aug. 9. Plus three daily shows, via NBCUniversal PR:

“Tokyo Live,” a five-hour live morning studio show during Tokyo primetime with live coverage of major events, plus medal ceremonies, engaging segments with athlete profiles, and real-time analysis.

“Tokyo Daily Digest,” an hour-long highlight show with the best and buzziest moments, athlete interviews, features and more of the day’s most exciting events.

“Tokyo Tonight,” a nightly live studio show with quick turnaround highlights, in addition to medal ceremonies, features, interviews, and primetime previews.

Peacock will then stream more than 1,000 exclusive hours of the Paralympics that open Aug. 25. Following the Games, Peacock will add Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA.

The Olympics-related documentaries on tap, via NBCUniversal PR:

“Dream Team 2020”
Follow USA Basketball’s top superstars on their journey to Tokyo in this exclusive, behind-the-scenes documentary series produced in partnership with NBA Entertainment. We’ll take you inside the 2020 Dream Team’s training camp, exhibition games and preparation for the 2020 Olympics, where Team USA is expected to make another gold-medal run.

“Hot Water: In Deep with Ryan Lochte”
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Ryan Lochte was at the center of a scandal that has since overshadowed his long and decorated swimming career. Now a 35-year-old husband and father of two young children, Lochte is hoping for one more chance to make Team USA, and prove he’s not the same man he was four years ago. 

“United States of Speed”
From Jesse Owens to Carl Lewis to Maurice Greene, there is a proud tradition of sprinting success in the United States. However in recent years, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt has been unbeatable at the Olympics. Now that the fastest man of all time has retired, meet the Americans who aim to put Team USA back on top in the sprints. 

“Run Through the Line”

Nike founder Phil Knight and his friends take viewers through the creation of his world-renowned company and the ambitions he still chases at 81 years young. Based loosely on Knight’s best-selling memoir, “Shoe Dog.”

“The Greatest Race”

You probably remember where you were when you saw it. Michael Phelps and his teammates had fallen hopelessly behind race favorite France in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the final leg, 32-year-old American Jason Lezak was losing ground to Alain Bernard, the 100m free world-record holder and anchor of the seemingly unbeatable French team. Then the impossible happened. Hear from the swimmers on both sides of the epic relay as we revisit The Greatest Race.

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Beach volleyball player’s dog becomes social media sensation

Mathias Berntsen
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Norwegian beach volleyball player Mathias Berntsen‘s dog, Kiara, captivated social media this weekend.

A video of Kiara peppering with Berntsen and a pair across the net on a grass field spread from Berntsen’s Instagram across platforms. Kiara now has 12,000 Instagram followers, more than twice the total of Berntsen.

Berntsen, 24, is one half of Norway’s second-best beach volleyball team.

He and partner Hendrik Mol are ranked 45th in the world and well outside the Tokyo Olympic picture (24 teams go to the Games), but could get in the mix depending on how qualification is amended once sports resume.

Berntsen and his cousin Mol are part of a group called the Beach Volley Vikings. Mol’s younger brother, Anders, and family friend Christian Sorum are the world’s top-ranked team (profiled here).

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FIFA rules on Olympic men’s soccer tournament age eligibility

Gabriel Jesus
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For the first time since 1988, some 24-year-olds will be eligible for the Olympic men’s soccer tournament without using an over-age exception.

FIFA announced Friday that it will use the same age eligibility criteria for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 that it intended to use in 2020 — that players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997 are eligible, plus three over-age exceptions. FIFA chose not to move the birthdate deadline back a year after the Olympics were postponed by one year.

Olympic men’s soccer tournaments have been U-23 events — save those exceptions — since the 1992 Barcelona Games. In 1984 and 1988, restrictions kept European and South American players with World Cup experience ineligible. Before that, professionals weren’t allowed at all.

Fourteen of the 16 men’s soccer teams already qualified for the Games using players from under-23 national teams. The last two spots are to be filled by CONCACAF nations, potentially the U.S. qualifying a men’s team for the first time since 2008.

The U.S.’ biggest star, Christian Pulisic, and French superstar Kylian Mbappe were both born in 1998 and thus would have been under the age limit even if FIFA moved the deadline to Jan. 1, 1998.

Perhaps the most high-profile player affected by FIFA’s decision is Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus. The Manchester City star was born April 3, 1997, and thus would have become an over-age exception if FIFA pushed the birthdate rule back a year.

Instead, Brazil could name him to the Olympic team and still keep all of its over-age exceptions.

However, players need permission from their professional club teams to play in the Olympics, often limiting the availability of stars.

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