12 things to know ahead of the Summer Olympics

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Where and when are the Olympics being held?

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2020 Summer Olympics are being held in Tokyo, Japan, from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 8. A majority of the 42 venues are located in the city itself and spread across two main zones — the inland Heritage Zone and the Tokyo Bay Zone located on the water. Sixteen other venues across the country will host events, including Sapporo, which is 500 miles to the north. That city will host the marathon and racewalking due to concerns about Tokyo's summer heat. Many venues from the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo have been repurposed and being used for this summer's games.

When is the Opening Ceremony?

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The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, July 23 at 8 p.m. time in Tokyo. They will be held at the National Stadium, which was rebuilt on the site on the stadium that hosted the Opening Ceremony in 1964 (pictured).

When is the Closing Ceremony?

(Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

The Closing Ceremony will be held on Sunday, August 8.

What is the time difference between Tokyo and the United States?

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There is a 13-hour time difference between Tokyo and New York City. So the Opening Ceremony scheduled for 8 p.m. in Japan will start at 7 a.m. at NBC's main offices in the United States.

Will there be fans at the Tokyo Olympics?



Nope. The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee announced on July 8 that no fans will be allowed at venues after the country declared a new state of emergency that will run through August 22, two weeks after the end of the Games. There is a possibility that fans may attend in venues outside of Tokyo, but that has yet to be decided.

Where can I watch the Tokyo Olympics?

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Basically on any outlet that NBC Universal owns. (This is the 16th Olympics that NBC has broadcasted.) The main NBC network will broadcast 250 hours of events. An additional 6,750 hours of coverage will be available on outlets like USA Network, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, The Olympic Channel, NBCOlympics.com and the Peacock streaming service. If streaming is going to be your go-to for the Olympics, here are a few options we recommend:

Who's hosting the Tokyo Olympics for NBC?

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Mike Tirico took over the role of primetime host from Bob Costas for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang (South Korea), and this will be his first time serving in the role for the Summer Olympics. He and the NBC crew will work from an outdoor studio in downtown Tokyo. A record 178 NBC Olympics commentators will participate including Ahmed Fareed, Liam McHugh, Kathryn Tappen, and Rebecca Lowe.

Why is it still being called Tokyo 2020?

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It's been an Olympic tradition that games are held in even years and organizers opted to continue with that custom despite the games being postponed for a year. Not to mention that there was already a lot of merchandise with Tokyo 2020 out on the streets and sitting in warehouses when the pandemic struck. "An odd number is out of the question," Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said earlier this year.

What are the new sports at the Tokyo Olympics?

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Four new sports are debuting at the Tokyo Olympics: Surfing, skateboarding, sports climbing and karate. Baseball and softball will also return for the first time since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing while new events in existing sports like 3-on-3 basketball, freestyle BMX an Madison cycling will also appear.

Who's the biggest athlete to watch?

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Simone Biles, duh. But we'll have an expanded post of 20 Olympic athletes to watch as the games draw closer. Keep an eye out for it.

Who's on the men's Dream Team for the Tokyo Olympics?

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Kevin Durant will be making his third Olympic appearance after winning gold in 2012 and 2016. He'll be joined by Bam Adebayo, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Jerami Grant, Draymond Green, Jrue Holiday, Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard, Kevin Love, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum. Gregg Popovich is the head coach while Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce and Jay Wright will serve as assistant coaches. Every wonder which NBA stars have made a Dream Team? Check out the all-time roster here.

Who's on the women's Dream Team for the United States?

(RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports)

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird will lead the U.S. women's basketball team. Both are making their fifth Olympic appearance. They'll be joined by reigning WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson, Ariel Atkins, Napheesa Collier, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Chelsea Gray, Jewell Loyd, Sylvia Fowles, Tina Charles, Brittany Griner and Breanna Stewart. Olympic legend and current South Carolina coach Dawn Staley will coach the team.

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