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Friday's schedule at 2021 Tokyo Olympics: Opening ceremony takes center stage

·2 min read
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The Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony is sure to be a spectacle, mainly because there's still very little known about how the event will operate.

Each ceremony has a theme, with this year's being "United by Emotion." No fans will be in attendance, but members of the International Olympic Committee, diplomats, Olympic sponsors and foreign dignitaries will be allowed to attend.

The number of athletes marching in the "Parade of Nations" will also be severely reduced, though an exact number is unknown. Countries will march in katakana order according to their Japanese-language names instead of English alphabetical. Women's basketball star Sue Bird — already a four-time gold medalist — and baseball player Eddy Alvarez — who won a silver medal in speed skating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi — will be flag bearers for the U.S. during the march.

The opening ceremony will be broadcast live Friday morning for American audiences and again in primetime Friday night. Tennis and men's cycling will also start Friday night, while qualifying heats for rowing will continue.

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How to watch

All times are Eastern

NBC: 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.

NBCSN: 24-hour coverage

USA: 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Olympic Channel: 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Biggest Events

All times are Eastern

7:30 p.m. Thursday: Rowing – Qualifying heats (NBCSN)

6:55 a.m. Friday: Opening Ceremony (NBC)

7:30 p.m. Friday: Rowing – Qualifying heats and repechages (USA)

10 p.m. Friday: Cycling – Men's road race (USA)

10 p.m. Friday: Tennis – Men's and women's action (Olympic Channel)

Tape-delayed events:

7:30 p.m. Friday: Opening Ceremony (NBC)

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Contact Emily Leiker at eleiker@usatoday.com or on Twitter @emleiker

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2021 Olympics schedule for Friday: When is Tokyo opening ceremony?