Everything You Need to Know About the Tokyo Summer Olympics

After a year delay and multiple changes, the 2020 Summer Olympics are finally taking place this month.

The Summer Olympics were initially scheduled for last year, but were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic is still impacting this year’s games, with athletes competing without crowds of fans and social distancing measures still in effect.

Here, WWD breaks down everything you need to know about the 2020 Summer Olympics. Read on for more.

When are the 2020 Summer Olympics?

The 2020 Summer Olympics were originally slated to take place last July, but were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Summer Games will now take place during a two-week period starting with the opening ceremony on July 23 and ending with the closing ceremony on Aug. 8. Some events, such as men’s and women’s soccer, will begin ahead of the official start date on July 21.

The Paralympic Games will follow on Aug. 24 to Sept. 5.

Where are the 2020 Summer Olympics being held?

Tokyo will be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics. This is the second time the Japanese city has hosted the Olympics. The first time was in the summer of 1964.

Are the Tokyo Games still called the 2020 Summer Olympics?

Although the Summer Games are taking place in 2021, the International Olympic Committee is still referring to the games as the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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What sports are competing at the 2020 Summer Olympics?

Many popular summer sports will be returning for the Olympic Games, including swimming, gymnastics, track and field, diving, basketball, beach volleyball, tennis, water polo, soccer and many others.

Are there any new sports competing?

There will be several new sports added to the Olympics lineup this year, including skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing, karate and freestyle BMX cycling.

Which athletes are returning to the 2020 Summer Olympics?

The 2020 U.S. Olympic team includes 193 returning Olympians, such as gymnast Simone Biles, track and field athlete Allyson Felix, swimmers Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel, soccer players Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, basketball players Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Sue Bird, among others.

Which athletes are making their Olympics debut?  

The U.S. gymnastics team AP

Many of today’s biggest athletes are making their Olympics debut in Tokyo. Tennis champion Naomi Osaka, who chose not to attend Wimbledon and the French Open, will be making her first Olympics appearance this month playing for the Japanese team.

Aside from Biles, the U.S. gymnastics team is comprised of newcomers Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey. This will also be the first Olympics for tennis star Coco Gauff, basketball player Devin Booker, swimmer Katie Grimes, equestrian (and Bruce Springsteen’s daughter) Jessica Springsteen and track and field athlete Noah Lyles, among others.

Which athletes won’t be returning for the Olympics?

Several U.S. athletes will not return for the 2020 Summer Olympics, including tennis champion Serena Williams, swimmers Ryan Lochte and Nathan Adrian, gymnast Laurie Hernandez, diver David Boudia and beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings.

How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting the 2020 Summer Olympics?

The 2020 Summer Olympics will be unlike any in years past due to the pandemic. Because of social distancing and health guidelines, no spectators will be allowed at any of the Olympic stadiums or venues, marking a stark contrast from previous Olympic games that drew in thousands of spectators from all over the world.

Athletes will also undergo regular COVID-19 testing and temperature checks and will only be permitted to stay at the Olympic Village during the duration of their competitions.

Is Russia still banned from the Olympics?

For the second time, Russia is not competing in the Olympics due to a four-year ban on global sporting events instituted by the World Anti-Doping Agency over the country’s athletes using performance-enhancing drugs.

Russian athletes, however, can still compete in the Olympic Games as “ROC” athletes, which is an acronym for Russian Olympic Committee. The athletes are also permitted to wear the colors of the Russian flag. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Russian athletes competed as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

Russia’s Olympics ban ends in December 2022.

What will the Team USA uniforms look like?

Fencer Daryl Homer in Ralph Lauren’s Olympic uniform. Joel Griffith

Ralph Lauren is continuing his tradition of designing the Team USA Olympic uniforms. The uniforms follow the style reminiscent of the designer’s past creations, including a patriotic color scheme and Ralph Lauren logo.

As temperatures and humidity are expected to reach record levels, Lauren has introduced RL Cooling, a new wearable technology that is said to be a self-regulating temperature cooling device that’s integrated into the garments in an effort to keep the athletes cool.

Kim Kardashian West’s Skims fashion line is also designing the official undergarments, pajamas and loungewear for Team USA. A capsule collection of the pieces will be available for purchase for customers.

How can I watch the 2020 Summer Olympics?  

NBC will broadcast the Olympic Games and provide extensive coverage throughout the day on NBC, NBC Sports, CNBC and the USA Network. Viewers can also stream coverage on the NBC Olympics website and NBC Sports app.

For those without a cable subscription, the 2020 Summer Olympics can be streamed through providers like Hulu, AT&T TV Now, YouTube TV, Fubo TV, Sling TV and Locast.


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