Tokyo Olympics schedule: daily roadmap to, through Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Medals
Getty Images
1 Comment

The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony is in 100 days on July 23. The U.S. Olympic team of more than 500 athletes will be finalized by the end of June. It’s going to be a busy spring and an even busier early summer. A look at the next four months …

U.S. Olympic Diving Trials
June 6-13, Indianapolis
The top two per individual event and each winning synchronized event pair go to Tokyo, provided the U.S. qualifies remaining quota spots at the FINA World Cup in Tokyo in May. David Boudia is the headliner. The four-time Olympic platform medalist switched to the springboard after a February 2018 concussion and was fifth at the 2019 World Championships.

U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials
June 13-20, Omaha
The top two per individual event qualify for Tokyo, plus extras in the 100m and 200m freestyles for relays. Katie Ledecky, four-time Rio gold medalist, could make the team in five events, including the Olympic debut of the women’s 1500m freestyle. Simone Manuel is a candidate for six events after winning seven medals at the 2019 Worlds. And Caeleb Dressel, who earned eight medals at the 2019 Worlds, might qualify in seven races when including relays.

U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials
June 18-27, Eugene, Ore.
The top three per individual event (in most cases) qualify for Tokyo. World 200m champion Noah Lyles is the favorite in the men’s 100m and 200m, following the suspension of world 100m champion Christian ColemanAllyson Felix, a nine-time sprint medalist, eyes a fifth Olympic team (her first as a mom) and to break Carl Lewis‘ record of 10 medals for a U.S. track and field athlete.

U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials
June 24-27, St. Louis
USA Gymnastics re-combined the men’s and women’s trials to the same weekend, three weeks after the national championships in Fort Worth, Texas. This could be the last domestic competition of Simone Biles‘ career. The U.S. men’s and women’s teams — up to six gymnasts per gender — will be named shortly after the end of competition.

What type of Olympic fan are you? Take a brief survey, and you’ll be entered to win Olympic prizes!

Tokyo Olympics (13 hours ahead of New York)
July 21-Aug. 8 (July 23 Opening Ceremony)

July 21-22: Non-medal competition begins two days before the Opening Ceremony. The first event: A softball game between Australia and Japan in Fukushima, the site of 2011 nuclear plant meltdowns caused by an earthquake and tsunami 155 miles north of Tokyo.

July 23: Opening Ceremony, live in the morning on NBC for the first time at 6:55 ET.

Day 1: First day of medal competition. Headline events include the men’s cycling road race and men’s sabre in fencing, where the U.S. has medal threats.

Day 2: First swimming finals include the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, which the U.S. last won in 2000. Skateboarding makes its Olympic debut with men’s street. American Nyjah Huston is reigning world champion.

Day 3: Ledecky is reigning Olympic champion in the women’s 400m free. Dressel could anchor the men’s 4x100m free relay. The host nation will focus on the first gymnastics medal event, the men’s team final that Japan won in 2016.

Day 4: Biles is expected to lead a heavily favored U.S. women’s team eyeing a third consecutive title. In swimming, the U.S. has the world-record holder in three finals: men’s 100m backstroke (Ryan Murphy), women’s 100m back (Regan Smith) and women’s 100m breaststroke (Lilly King). The U.S. also has the 2019 World champion in women’s triathlon, Katie Zaferes. The first Olympic softball final since 2008 is also on the slate.

Day 5: If waves are good, the first Olympic surfing medals will be awarded. Hawaiian Carissa Moore is reigning world champion. Another new Olympic event, 3×3 basketball, also has men’s and women’s finals. It may be a busy day for Ledecky with the 200m free, where she is vulnerable, and the Olympic debut of the women’s 1500m free, where she has been unbeatable. In the road cycling time trials, Chloe Dygert could succeed her coach, three-time gold medalist Kristin Armstrong, as champion.

ON HER TURF: 100 ways women can make history at the Tokyo Games

Day 6: Biles’ chance to become the first woman to repeat as Olympic all-around champion since 1968. In swimming, Dressel could take aim at a world record in the 100m free, while Ledecky and Manuel may be part of the 4x200m free relay.

Day 7: In rowing, the U.S. women’s eight could in a fourth consecutive gold medal. Americans are also reigning medalists in BMX racing (Connor Fields, gold, and Alise Willoughby, silver). Similarly, Manuel and Murphy look to return to the top of the podium in the 100m free and 200m back, respectively.

Day 8: Track and field heats up with the women’s 100m — 20-year-old Sha’Carri Richardson is the world’s fastest woman over the last year and could bring the U.S. its first gold in the event since 1996. Tennis could be the hottest ticket if Naomi Osaka is in the women’s singles final. In swimming, the U.S. has world-record holders in the men’s 100m fly (Dressel), women’s 800m free (Ledecky) and women’s 200m back (Smith).

Day 9: Men’s 100m. Lyles and fellow American Trayvon Bromell are the favorites to succeed the retired Usain Bolt. The last day of pool swimming includes both medley relays — where the U.S. is historically dominant — and the 50m frees, titles the U.S. could sweep with Manuel and Dressel. The U.S. also has title contenders in BMX freestyle’s Olympic debut. Artistic gymnastics resumes with event finals. Biles is reigning Olympic and world champion on vault.

Day 10: Adeline Gray, the U.S.’ biggest favorite in wrestling, looks to add a first Olympic gold to her five world titles. In track and field, the slate features the women’s 100m hurdles, which the U.S. swept in Rio. Biles gets another event, floor exercise, where she’s reigning Olympic and world champion.

Day 11: The final day of artistic gymnastics, which means likely the last day of Biles’ career. The balance beam is a coveted event after she took bronze in Rio. In track, the U.S. has the last two Olympic champions in the women’s long jump (Brittney ReeseTianna Bartoletta) and the reigning world champ in the women’s hammer (DeAnna Price). Two men’s finals could feature international stars — pole vault (Mondo Duplantis of Sweden) and 400m hurdles (Karsten Warholm of Norway). Boudia could be in the medal mix in the men’s springboard.

Day 12: Could be the first of back-to-back huge days for U.S. track and field with possible favorites in the men’s 200m (Lyles), men’s 800m (Donovan Brazier) and women’s 400m hurdles (Dalilah Muhammad) and medal threats in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. Weightlifting concludes with men’s super heavyweight aka the event that determines the world’s strongest man.

Day 13: Potentially U.S. gold medalists in track and field: Michael Norman (400m), Grant Holloway (110m hurdles), Christian Taylor (triple jump), Joe Kovacs or Ryan Crouser (shot put) and Sandi Morris (pole vault). Americans are reigning world champions in two new Olympic events — men’s park skateboarding (Hawaiian Heimana Reynolds) and women’s canoe sprint (18-year-old Nevin Harrison).

Day 14: The U.S. women’s soccer hopes to play for gold on the last Friday of the Games, five years after a shock quarterfinal exit. Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman are the favorites in women’s beach volleyball, which has its final on this day, too. Track finals include the 4x100m relays, which the U.S. last swept in 1992.

Day 15: Last full day of competition. The U.S. women’s water polo team is expected to three-peat. The U.S. men’s basketball team is expected to four-peat. One of Japan’s most coveted events in the first Olympic baseball final since 2008. Wrestling could produce an epic men’s 97kg freestyle final if Russian Abdulrashid Sadulayev and American Kyle Snyder meet in a battle of 2016 gold medalists. In track, Matthew Centrowitz will hope to defend his Rio 1500m title after becoming the first American to win the classic event in 108 years.

Day 16: Before this night’s Closing Ceremony, look for Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge‘s bid to repeat as Olympic men’s marathon champion. The U.S. could claim two more golds in women’s basketball (a potential record-tying seventh consecutive title in the sport) and women’s volleyball (which it has never won).

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Alpine skiing to test new format for combined race

Alpine Skiing Combined

Alpine skiing officials will test a new format for the combined event, a race that is under review to remain on the Olympic program.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that the International Ski Federation (FIS) will test a new team format for the combined, which has been an individual event on the Olympic program since 1988. L’Equipe reported that a nation can use a different skier for the downhill and slalom in the new setup, quoting FIS secretary general Michel Vion.

For example, the U.S. could use Breezy Johnson in the downhill run and sub her out for Mikaela Shiffrin in the slalom run, should the format be adopted into senior competition.

The format will be tested at the world junior championships in January in St. Anton, Austria, according to the report.

In response to the report, a FIS spokesperson said, “Regarding the new format of the combined is correct, and our directors are working on the rules so for the moment the only thing we can confirm is that there will be this new format for the Alpine combined that has been proposed by the athletes’ commission.”

Some version of the combined event has been provisionally included on the 2026 Olympic program, with a final IOC decision on its place coming by April.

This will be the third consecutive World Cup season with no combined events. Instead, FIS has included more parallel races in recent years. The individual combined remains on the biennial world championships program.

L’Equipe also reported that the mixed team parallel event, which is being dropped from the Olympics, will also be dropped from the biennial world championships after this season.

“There is nothing definitive about that yet, but it is a project in the making,” a FIS spokesperson said in commenting on the report.

Vion said the mixed team event, which debuted at the Olympics in 2018, was not a hit at the Beijing Games and did not draw a strong audience, according to L’Equipe.

The World Cup season starts in two weeks with the traditional opening giant slaloms in Soelden, Austria.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Ironman Kona World Championships return, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship

The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona men’s pro race, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Both entered Kailua-Kona, where the races were now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men. Chelsea Sodaro won the women’s race, ending a 20-year American victory drought.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!