With four months to go until the start of the Tokyo Games (July 23rd across the networks of NBC), the Olympic Torch relay begins tonight, March 24 (although it will be Thursday, March 25 in Japan). The relay lasts 121 days. It will begin in Fukushima, with the Japanese team that won the 2011 Women’s World Cup serving as the first torchbearers. After the Grand Start ceremony in Fukushima, the relay will make its way to Tochigi and then on to Gunma. Along the route, the torch will pass through all 47 of Japan’s prefectures, from Okinawa to Hiroshima to Hokkaido before arriving in Tokyo, the Olympic host city, on July 9. Click here for the complete route of the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay.
The flame arrived in Japan on March 20, 2020, at Matsushima Airbase in Miyagi and has been protected at the Olympic Museum in Tokyo, located across the street from the Olympic Stadium. The torch is colored sakura–a shade of pink–and gold, symbolizing the cherry blossom, a representation of the Japanese spring.
How to watch the Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay:
The Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay will be available for live stream on the Olympic Channel.
When are the Tokyo Olympics?
The Tokyo Olympics were postponed in March 2020 amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The rescheduled Games will run this summer from July 23rd to August 8th, beginning with the Opening Ceremony on July 23rd.
When are the Tokyo Paralympics?
The Tokyo Paralympics run from August 24th to September 5th. NBCUniversal will air a record 1,200 hours of Paralympic coverage from the Tokyo Games, including the first NBC primetime broadcasts in history.
Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony, NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock has a channel dedicated to classic Olympic and Paralympic moments called “Road to Tokyo.” Stream peacock this summer to get in the spirit with iconic Olympic highlights celebrating stars like Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, and LeBron James.
What COVID-19 regulations will be in place at the Tokyo Olympics?
The International Olympic Committee and the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics have released a series of playbooks spelling out safety measures for athletes, officials, and broadcasters in Japan. These playbooks are expected to be updated as the situation with the virus evolves between now and the Opening Ceremony on July 23rd.
Pierre Ducrey, the IOC’s Olympic Games operations director, said that, at a minimum, athletes will be tested every four days in Japan under the current measures. They will also be tested before leaving for Japan and upon arrival.
“For all Games participants, there will be some conditions and constraints that will require flexibility and understanding,” IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi said. “We are providing the main directions at this stage, but naturally don’t have all the final details yet; an update will be published in the spring and may change as necessary even closer to the Games.”
Earlier in March, Tokyo 2020 also announced that overseas spectators will not be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. In a statement, the organizing committee said: “Based on the present situation of the pandemic, it is highly unlikely that entry into Japan will be guaranteed this summer for people from overseas. In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
Which U.S. Athletes are Qualified for the Tokyo Olympics?
Many of Team USA’s biggest stars, including Noah Lyles, Simon Biles, and Katie Ledecky, will still need to qualify for Team USA at their Olympic Trials, but nearly 100 American athletes have already qualified for the team.
Athletes have qualified in sports including fencing, sailing, and softball. In track and field, three men and three women qualified for the Olympic marathon in February of 2020.
What is the time difference between the United States and Japan for Tokyo Olympics?
During the Tokyo Olympics, Tokyo will be 13 hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone, 16 ahead of the Pacific Time Zone. An event that starts at 10:00a local time Monday will be at 9:00p EDT Sunday night.