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Quick Facts About the Tokyo Olympics

After a year of waiting, the Games are back with historic numbers.

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The Olympic theme song (John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare and Theme) has been stuck in our heads for weeks — but now the Tokyo Olympics is days away! 

When the 2020 Olympics was postponed due to COVID-19, the world was understandably devastated. Now we can’t wait to support our athletes as they conquer their sports starting July 23. 

Here are a few things you should know about this year’s Olympics!

1. Though the Tokyo Olympics will take place in 2021, it will still be branded officially as the 2020 Olympics.

You will hear the announcers echo this, and athletes will receive 2020 Olympic medals. As odd as this sounds, much discussion took place about the official label when the Olympic Games were first postponed. 

The Olympics has never been rescheduled to this extent before, so organizers had to come up with a plan from scratch. The Wall Street Journal reports that Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike insists this Olympics corresponds with the tradition of the year always being even.

“An odd number is out of the question,” Koike says.

2. The opening ceremony will take place Friday, July 23 at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium.

The ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. local time in Japan (7 a.m. EDT in the U.S.). NBC will begin live coverage at 6:55 EDT. 

3. The schedule will consist of 33 competitions and 339 events.

The events will take place across 42 venues — these are record numbers in the history of the Olympics, according to the official schedule of events. You can find the complete schedule here. 

4. There are six new sports at the Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball and softball are returning after previously being cut from the program. Karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing will take place for the first time. New events in sports already existing in the Olympics include mixed-gender relays in track and field and swimming and three-on-three basketball. 

Female U.S. Olympic Athletes to Watch

While we root for every single U.S. Olympic athlete, there are a few that ESPN experts recommend keeping an eye out for. 

Sunisa Lee | Gymnastics

 

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Simone Biles | Gymnastics

Allyson Felix | Track and Field

 

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A post shared by Allyson Felix (@allysonfelix)

Carli Lloyd | Soccer

 

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Sue Bird | Basketball

 

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Simone Manuel | Swimming

 

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A post shared by Simone Manuel (@swimone)

Jessica and Nelly Korda | Golf

 

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Adeline Gray | Wrestling

 

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