2020 was not kind to sports fans. The COVID-19 pandemic forced event after event, tournament after tournament, to be canceled at the last minute, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Fast forward a year, and the Tokyo Olympics are set to start up again. With the 2021 Tokyo Olympics comes new sports, old participants, and unique, COVID-related restrictions. Today, let’s go over everything sports fans need to know about the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Everything to Know About the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will begin this Friday, the 23rd. The tournament will last for precisely 16 days and will end on August 8th.
The schedule is absolutely packed, and if you want to take a look, NBC Sports has the entire schedule up on their website.
The tournament will include a few new and returning sports. Baseball and softball are slated to make their return to the Olympics this year, though they are confirmed not to be returning for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Other new sports like karate, skateboarding, and surfing will make their Olympics debut at the Tokyo Olympics, and some will be returning for future Olympics games.
COVID forced a year-long delay for the Tokyo Olympics. While the tournament is confirmed to take place this year, Tokyo is currently undergoing a state of emergency in relation to COVID. As a result, Japan will be adding a few restrictions to the tournament.
For one, athletes will need to be tested for COVID every day of the event, and while athletes won’t be required to take the COVID-19 vaccine, they will need to follow COVID guidelines.
Overseas spectators will also be absent during the whole tournament in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, international fans will be unable to see the Olympics in person as many had planned.
How International Fans Can Watch the Tournament
As unfortunate as that news is that there are too many international fans, it doesn’t mean international fans will be unable to watch the games. In fact, there are plenty of ways for fans to watch the Olympics online.
Many countries will be broadcasting the entire Tokyo Olympics for free. Of course, it depends on the country. For example, the BBC will be broadcasting the Olympics throughout the United Kingdom, and UK fans will be able to tune in and watch the games. The same goes for the United States and NBC, though some United States fans may need to subscribe to NBC’s streaming service Peacock in order to watch the entire tournament.
If your country is not participating in a nationwide broadcast of the Olympics, then you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect to a country that does. A free VPN trial is all you need to access any content that may be unavailable in your country (such as the Tokyo Olympics).
Sling TV is an on-demand streaming service. These services work similarly to cable packages but without all the hassle of setting up a cable box and only being able to access channels on one device. Certain Sling TV packages offer NBC depending on your area, and if you do have access to NBC, that means you can watch the full Tokyo Olympics through Sling.
If you don’t care about watching the entire Tokyo Olympics, then you’ll be able to catch all of the tournament’s highlights on YouTube. Various broadcasters and channels will be uploading videos, clips, and highlights of the tournament, making YouTube a fantastic option for those only wanting bite-sized videos of the Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics are only a few days away, so if you haven’t figured out how you’re going to watch it yet, do it now! Fortunately, we’ve put together the three best ways to watch the Olympics online.