This summer, for just over two weeks, the world's eyes will be fastened on the East Asian nation of Japan. There, in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the world will gather for a celebration of physical endurance, achievement and good sportsmanship. The Summer Olympics 2020, also known also as the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, is hotly anticipated. Participants from at least 139 nations are heading over to compete so virtually everyone has someone to cheer on. People all over the world are looking forward to the hospitality and warm welcome of this culturally iconic nation. The land that gave the world Ninja, Manga, Harajuku and Pokémon will serve up the first games of a new decade and everyone is intrigued!
The modern Olympic games have been a 4-yearly highlight since the 19th century and Tokyo's Olympics continue in the tradition of showcasing the very best of a host nation's infrastructure and amenities. Tokyo 2020, will stand out as being environmentally friendly, with as low a carbon footprint as possible and a sustainable approach to running the schedule of sporting events and recreations.
In just a few weeks, the Olympic Torch Relay will commence at Fukushima and progress to tour the length and breadth of the islands of Japan prior to completing its journey at the Olympic Stadium in time for the opening ceremony. Currently, the finishing touches are being put to the main stadium and satellite venues. And with secret preparations for the all important opening ceremony underway it is just the right time to get excited about the great celebration that lies ahead!
We hope you find this ultimate guide a useful overview of all you need to know about when, where and how to catch the breathtaking world-class sport of the Summer Olympics 2020.
When do the Summer Olympics 2020 begin?
The Summer Olympics 2020 will commence in Tokyo on Sunday the 24th July, 2020.
This is the official stating date with the hotly anticipated inauguration ceremony taking place in the evening in Tokyo's amazing new Olympic stadium, known as the New National Stadium. The opening ceremony's artistic director Mansai Nomura, is well known for traditional Japanese theater and is working on the ceremony alongside Marco Balich, a leading global events expert.
Sporting events will precede the 24th as scheduling for almost 350 individual events will be tight. Softball and Women's Football are going to commence 2 days before the official start, so it is well worth keeping an eye on the schedule for any last minute changes. Day one will open with medal activity in the women's 10m air rifle medal event. Keep abreast of all news and timings on the official Summer Olympics 2020 website: tokyo2020.org
Where are the Summer Olympics 2020 being held?
The Summer Olympics 2020 will be centered on the Japanese capital of Tokyo, but the action is not limited only to the city. These Olympics have been embraced as an opportunity to see the wider country of Japan.
In Tokyo, urban activity is divided between the Heritage Zone (which gives a nod to the sights and landmarks of Tokyo's previous 1964 Olympics), and the new exciting Tokyo Bay Zone, that showcases the innovative new architecture and environment.
The athletes' Olympic village is set at the intersection of the two zones and offers participants the very best of the city and celebratory atmosphere. The overall theme of the Summer Olympics 2020 is 'infinite excitement' and will play out across Japan with over 40 venues playing host to the sporting competitions and tournaments. Key venues include:
- The Olympic Stadium, which will be the setting for the opening and closing ceremonies and athletics.
- Ariake Tennis Park for tennis.
- Shiokaze Park plays host to beach volleyball.
- Ariake Gymnastics Centre hosts the gymnastics.
- Saitama Super Arena is where the basketball tournament will be held.
- Odaiba Marine Park will be where swimming, diving and triathlon will be held.
- 3x3 basketball and sport climbing will take place at the Aomi Urban Sports Park.
- Tokyo Stadium is the venue for rugby, football and pentathlon.
- Yokohama Baseball Stadium hosts baseball.
- The Equestrian Park hosts showjumping, dressage and eventing.
- Izu Velodrome for cycling and Izu MTB Course for mountain biking.
- Sapporo Dome for football.
- Asaka Shooting Range for Olympic shooting.
- Sailing in the Enoshima Yacht Harbor.
- Kasumigaseki Country Club hosts golf.
- Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach will hold the surfing contests.
- Makuhari Messe Hall B which will be the setting for the fencing tournaments.
- Fuji International Speedway for road race cycling.
What sports will be part of the Summer Olympics 2020?
The Tokyo Games will see global athletes perform in a broader range of sports than ever before meaning that there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Apart from Athletics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Swimming and Fencing, which have been on the roster of every Games since the modern Olympics began in 1896, there has been a steady rise and diversification of the sports and competitors involved. The Olympic program will see the sporting events take place across Tokyo and the major regional venues. These individual events, matches and tournaments are grouped across 33 different sports.
Here is your comprehensive list of sports in the Summer Olympics 2020:
- Field hockey
- Modern pentathlon
- Rugby sevens
- Sport climbing
- Table tennis
Are there any new additions to the Summer Olympics 2020 Games?
5 hotly anticipated new sports are making their debut in the Tokyo 2020 Games. Their inclusion will add an additional 18 events to the schedule and welcome just over 400 new Olympic athletes to the Games who would have otherwise have not had the opportunity to participate. They are:
- Baseball/Softball: 6 national teams will participate in this sport which is particularly beloved in Japan. Some of the competing teams such as Israel, Japan and South Korea have already been selected.
- Surfing: 20 male and 20 female shortboarders will hit the waves (weather permitting) at Shidashita Beach, in Chiba over an 2 day competitive period.
- Karate: will have Kumite and Kata events with 8 gold medals up for grabs.
- Skateboarding: will feature 20 athletes and two more structured competitive disciplines - park and street, though the free-styling element of the sport seems to have been greatly constrained.
- Sport Climbing: will specifically include 'bouldering' and 'lead and speed' competitive climbing.
These sports join other contemporary additions in recent times, such as BMX biking, which are credited with increasing participation and engagement in sport across younger generations and new audiences. Within included sporting disciplines there have been other additions such as Madison cycling and 3x3 basketball. The International Olympic Committee has said that these additions are not permanent but added specifically for the Summer Olympics 2020. This is due to new rules which permit hosts to select additional sports alongside the permanent program.
Getting your hands on Japan 2020 Olympic tickets
With so much planned for the Japan 2020 Olympics an authentic ticket is certainly going to be the hottest in town. Dates have not been confirmed for when they go on sale as yet, but you can be sure that competition for acquiring one of these tickets will be strong. Being able to visit the Olympic Games is a once in a lifetime experience which is sure to amaze, rouse the emotions and foster the team spirit.
There has been a ticket lottery for a variety of events held for Japanese residents. Winners will need to complete the purchase of their tickets in early to mid January to secure their place as a spectator. Locals have been encouraged to participate and apply with prefectures affected by the earthquake and tsunami and local schools being prioritized for event tickets.
There are three main types of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games tickets:
General tickets - for individual, general spectators. They are the same for adults, infants and children. These tickets are available for all Olympic Games sessions including the opening and closing ceremonies. There are strict limits on the number of general tickets that can be purchased. The Tokyo Games' official site also lists authorized re-sellers of these tickets.
Wheelchair /Companion tickets - enable a wheelchair user to visit the Games along with a companion. They will be seated in the wheelchair seating area at venues. These tickets are available for all events including the opening and closing ceremonies.
Group tickets - are the ideal choice for families or small groups who want to enjoy the Games together. They are for groups with either one or more children under 12 years or seniors of 60 years and over.
How much do Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games tickets cost?
The Olympic Organizing Committee in Tokyo has published prices for the opening ceremony and price ranges for events.
Tickets for the opening ceremony are premium ranging from Y15,000 to Y300,000 ($220 to $2680).Tickets for individual sporting events will range in price from Y2500 to Y130,000 ($60 to $1160), with around half at an accessible price of y8000 ($44)
How can overseas spectators get their hands on Tokyo 2020 tickets
The Organizing Committee has authorized re-sellers, usually one per country who are selling tickets. Tickets are offered typically as part of a package that includes flight, transfers, hotel accommodation and access to the Games. For those willing to spend, the Tokyo Olympics will showcase the very best in sports hospitality with experiences, athlete meet-and-greets and of course the exceptional party atmosphere in a world class city.
To ensure the best chance of securing a Summer Olympics 2020 ticket, keep abreast of announcements and offers via the Tokyo 2020 websites and their designated re-seller channels. Overseas visitors are encouraged to plan their journey well and get out and see the best Japan has to offer, making 2020 one of the best years for visiting the Land of the Rising Sun.
Your fun and playful Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascots
The Summer Olympics 2020 follow tradition with the creation of some exciting and fun mascots to get the party atmosphere going and build the Tokyo 2020 brand.
It is no surprise that in the land of manga comics and anime, many artists and creatives competed to devise the 2020 Olympic mascots. In the end, the Japanese artist Ryo Taniguchi's concept won the competition with his designs being selected by local school children.
The two mascots Miraitowa and Someity have been created to embody the values and energy of this summer's Olympics with lots of thoughtful touches, flying, sparkles and acrobatics in their promotional video. Expect loads of souvenirs and promotional items sporting this cheeky and cute pair come July!
Miratowa and Someity showcase the best of Japan's culture and values.
The mascot colors are derived from the elegant Olympic logo for the 2020 games and in the case of Someity, the iconic Japanese cherry blossom. The name Miraitowa means 'future and eternity' and Someity gains her name from the Somei Yoshino cherry blossom. Their colors are displayed in ichimatsu pattern on their bodies and capes. The mascots anime-rich features are a strong nod to Japanese popular culture and the face pattern on Miraitowa reminiscent of a Samurai mask.
Both mascots foster a love of sports and friendship and are sure to be a big hit at the games. In addition the official mascots will be joined by a host of well-known Japanese animated characters, serving as 'guides' to the Tokyo Olympics. Some will even be in space. Gundam and Zaku figurines will be orbiting the earth in a specially commissioned G-satellite launched especially for the Games.
Summer Olympics 2020 Live Stream Free Guid
We are not sure where you will have to go to escape this summer's Olympic excitement. In this digital age of smartphones, apple watches and tablets, it is unlikely you will only spend the summer Olympic season sprawled on the sofa. Now you can enjoy the events, highlights and celebrations of the Japan summer Olympics while on the move, with friends or at any hour of the day with 24 hour streaming.
Streaming is quick convenient and entirely digital, allowing you to get real-time Olympic action delivered direct to your device of choice. We predict that live steaming will be the making of the Tokyo Olympics. Major broadcasters agree too, with a range of streaming providers and options for the tech-savvy sports fans to view round the clock coverage and highlights.
Since 2006, Olympic Broadcasting Services has been the sole permanent host broadcaster for the Games, filming and producing all coverage for international television companies wherever the Games go. This neutral coverage is produced to impeccable standards and distributed via domestic broadcasters who purchase rights to the footage. It is these Rights Holding Broadcasters who will deliver streamed footage of the Games to viewers like you, so it is well worth knowing where you can find this online. The Olympic Broadcasting Service expects these games to be the most digital ever and are geared to deliver coverage that works via digital platforms and streaming. They are also recognizing that digital content is likely to be personalized. They are therefore on a 'digital-first' footing to ensure an enhanced experience for online viewers.
There are many sites that are likely to be offering allegedly 'free' streaming of the 2020 Olympics. In reality, what is touted is at its very best pirated content that is likely to be saturated with gutter ads, strange downloads or worse. The Olympic Broadcasting Services take a dim view of piracy and is implementing anti-piracy technology to track down those who help themselves to their proprietary content. It is far better to take the time and expense of finding legitimate means of enjoying the streamed Olympics.
Streaming Services for the Summer Olympics 2020
For American viewers, NBC has the sole broadcasting rights to the Summer Olympics 2020 and will be providing a live streaming service via a variety of designated apps which cable users can log into for free.
NBC has announced that for the Summer Olympics 2020 it will be mixing things up with a deal with Twitter to stream portions of its coverage. This will involve nightly 'dips' into the live events, of only a few minutes at a time. Twitter will also be a go-to destination for round-ups, highlights and a daily show for the duration of the games.
Details of the official US streams of the 2020 Olympics can be found via the website: https://www.nbcolympics.com/ and will be streamed via their Olympic Channel, NBC, NBC Sports and other affiliated channels. The NBC sports app can be readily downloaded to your phone so that you're stream-ready on the go.
Watching the 2020 Olympics online for free
Fans who do not want the expense of a satellite or cable contract to get their dose of Olympic sports can get limited viewing of NBC's footage for free. Follow these simple steps:
- Visit the NBC Olympics channel.
- If there is any live programming, the player will load and stream footage for you to view.
- The coverage is just a short, live default, lasting a few tens of minutes which is provided to entice you to take out a paid subscription for more.
- At this point you need a cable login to be able to access further footage - select your TV provider and add your account details to get your stream going.
Streaming is free for customers of the following cable services:
Clearly for most, a taster of your favorite sports is not going to be enough. If you do not have and cannot gain access to a cable login, you will need to find a streaming service that will carry the games and a suitable device for viewing. Depending on the streaming service you use, you will have access to live content (derives from NBC) or pre-recorded footage.
How to Stream International Olympics Coverage From Inside the United States
Resolute cord cutters have a range of options for getting the daily dose of the summer Olympics without cable. A TV streaming service is likely to be your best bet for getting reliable and legal access to the games. Many of the leading TV streaming services have access to NBCs programming via app, NBC Sports or the Olympic Channel. However availability of Olympic streaming may still vary according to your location. Try these top 5 streaming services for streaming the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
- Hulu: Disney owned streaming juggernaut Hulu, is an ideal streaming partner for the Olympics, given its close links to NBC. Hulu is likely to have the widest access to NBC owned footage and having offered customized Olympic streaming based on user preference back in the previous winter Olympics, they are likely to do it again this summer, making them an excellent choice for cord-free international sports.
- YouTube TV: is weighing in with a proactive package for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and high quality streaming which is well rated by users. The Olympic Games action will be available via YouTube TV from a number of networks. Better still, we hope the free trial will be available in summer.
- DirecTV: will be carrying the Olympic Channel, giving you every opportunity to cheer on Team USA or the home team of your nation.
- Sling TV: Value streaming service Sling TV will offer Olympic Channel as part of its offering. Sling does not at present offer direct NBC access.
- Fubo TV: Fubo TV also carries the Olympic Channel.
Shop around and search widely to see what is available. If streaming services have a free trial, it may be well worth subscribing during July, for a generous serving of complementary, streamed Olympics.
Mobile Streaming Devices and Consoles for viewing the Summer Olympics 2020
To ensure that you get the best quality and most reliable streamed content from the Summer Olympics 2020, you need to source a good streaming service. Your smartTV may be equipped with a good selection of apps, but many people prefer to acquire a media streamer that will be fully equipped with the streaming services you need. It is well worth browsing the market and making the investment in a TV streaming device that will allow you to plug-and-play right out of the box.
If your broadband or WiFi connection is 25Mbps or faster you can be enjoying Tokyo 2020 in 4K or HD with a device or console. Stream the Olympic Channel all summer long with one of these great streaming sticks:
- Amazon Fire TV 4K Trust Amazon to be in there with the deals you need to get your Olympic Games streaming sorted! The behemoth has secured the Olympic Channel TV, complete with 24/7 live stream and hours of exclusive and original programming.
- Google Chromecast Google is now an official supporter for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics and as with previous summer and winter Olympics the NBC app will have Chromecast support.
- Apple TV 4K The Olympic Channel is available for Apple TV, iPad and iPhone
- Roku Streaming Stick also carries the Olympic Channel for on-the-pulse Olympics footage.
In addition you can get access to the best of the games if you have an Xbox or PlayStation Vue! Pair your device with your TV, phone, tablet or computer and you are ready to take your seat and enjoy.
Can You Watch the Olympics on Free Sports Streaming Websites?
As mentioned above, so-called free sports streaming website are likely to be streaming illegal content. They do not have the rights to broadcast the Olympics and also are usually heavy on ads and spurious links. People searching for free streamed Olympic sports may try sites like Stream2Watch, Bosscast or SportRAR.tv which are pulling their feed from other sites. Most of the content you will be watching will be of poor quality and riddled with adds. The Olympic Broadcasting Service is extremely proactive in tracking down such sites and their users, so it is not worth the risk or getting your IP address blacklisted or being sued. These are not methods of viewing we can recommend at all.
Can You Watch the Olympics With an Antenna?
It may be overlooked in the digital world but heading back to a good old fashioned TV and antenna is probably your best opportunity of catching genuinely free Olympic footage. Dust off your old digital TV and set-top box and look for your local NBC affiliate for a generous helping of summer Olympic coverage every day. If you have to have the coverage via a digital screen, why not hook up your antenna to your computer with a TV tuner card? This method is probably the best way of accessing free-to-air coverage in most countries.
International summer Olympics broadcasters for the global take on Tokyo 2020
Wherever you are in the world, you should be able to access high quality footage and live coverage of the 2020 Olympics from Rights Holding Broadcasters who will distribute the games with their own national take on all the action.
Everything you see will have been expertly recorded by Olympics Broadcasting Services and then distributed to your local channel. Watching your home country's broadcast is a great way of keeping up with the progress of your national team as well as taking advantage of free-to-air coverage via your regular television.
If you had watched 2018 winter Olympics coverage on a particular channel it is likely that the same broadcaster will be delivering coverage of 2020's Games. These broadcasters will work round the clock to deliver great footage and commentary live from Tokyo to the tens of millions of global viewers. A quick online search should help you find out where the Olympics will be available in your country. Here we share some major broadcasters in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.
Summer Olympics 2020 TV Guide in USA
Back in 2011 NBC Sports famously secured the rights for broadcasting the Olympic Games in a staggering $4,38 billion deal, which became the most expensive in the history of the Olympics and a major revenue stream from the International Olympic Committee. Since then they have had exclusive access to broadcast the summer and winter Olympics to the US audience with their produced coverage distributed to local NBC Universal networks and for Spanish language, Telemundo. Broadcasts are usually available during afternoons and evenings as well as scheduled broadcasts on their affiliated cable networks. NBC is known for securing a large roster of well-known sports commentators for play-by-play commentary, analysis and reporting for all events. In Rio a record 170 presenters and commentators participated and it is likely that more will join for Tokyo 2020 NBC has the rights to Olympic broadcasting in the USA until 2032 having paid an additional $7 billion, so their monopoly is going nowhere soon. Catch US Olympic coverage on the following channels:
- USA Network
- NBC Universo
- Golf Channel
- the NBC Sports App
2020 Olympics TV Guide in UK
For the British, the traditional public broadcaster the BBC has held the reins for Olympic coverage for decades with tens of millions tuning in to their generously scheduled coverage. Indeed the 'Beeb' as the British call it had over 45 million tuning in for the 2016 Rio games! For years the BBC has paid out to retain their broadcasting rights but their monopoly has been impacted by Discovery Communications acquisition of European broadcasting rights, though they still hold the rights for Tokyo 2020. The BBC offering is popular with great coverage of the Games delivered seamlessly across TV, digital and radio. Coverage is typically extensive, with a great line-up of commentators including ex-athletes and leading British sports journalists. Find UK Olympic coverage on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC News, and BBC Sport as well as their iPlayer.
Olympics 2020 TV Guide in Australia
Australians will enjoy domestic broadcasting of the 2020 Olympics from the Seven Network. Seven, holds the free-to-air, mobile telephony and pay television and online broadcast rights for the Japan Olympics with coverage that has emphasis on the popular mainstream sports such as athletics, swimming, cycling and volleyball. In the past Seven Network has won industry accolades for its coverage including the Olympic Golden Rings for Best Television Program at Athens 2004. Expect Seven Network to splash out on engaging and interactive broadcasting that will keep Aussies updated and enthused on the go. With timezone similarities with Japan, Seven Network is expecting that the Games will feel like they are taking place just next door with no timing acrobatics to dissuade viewers from watching live and getting involved in the party atmosphere. Their broadcast video on demand channel 7Plus is undergoing expansion with a push to make Tokyo 2020 "biggest digital event in Australia’s history", reaching tens of millions through its broadcasts and online. You will be able to catch up with Seven Networks coverage on Pacific Magazines 7NEWS.com.au and The West Australian.
Summer Olympics 2020 TV Guide in Canada
Canadians can look forward to a variety of options for their Olympic coverage which will be produced by the following local networks:
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
- The Sports Network
Tune into your local CBC channel to get a slice of the action or download and stream the coverage using the CBC Sports Olympics app for free streaming to your phone or computer. The CBC TV app can also be used. As with most local and regional broadcasters, well known sport commentators and sporting personalities will be on-hand to present the coverage to audiences back home.
A sneak peek at the Tokyo 2020 Medals!
The receipt of an Olympic medal is undoubtedly one of the highest honors an athlete can hope for, and is the climax of the breathtaking feats of endurance and competition.
Medals which get everyone involved.
The world's eyes will be on the medals unveiled by Japan and so they are a great opportunity to showcase the best of Japan's creativity, culture and values. Japan has not let this opportunity go to waste, but has eked out every angle to be exploited in demonstrating the best of Japan in its medal design. It has really been an effort of the entire country with a national competition having been run to find a suitably iconic design idea. The Tokyo 2020 Medal Project was leveraged to get the people of Japan engaged and involved and what a success it has been! One of the key initiatives has been the sourcing of metals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals from reclaimed consumer electronics such as mobile phones from all over Japan! The gold silver and bronze, present in individual devices in minute amounts was adequate to create the 5000 medals needed for the Olympics and Para Olympic games - an amazing and intriguing accomplishment. These unique medals are definitely in keeping with Japan's desire to host the most environmentally friendly and sustainable Olympic Games in history.
Sustainable and beautiful, with winning craftsmanship.
The medals themselves have been designed to embrace the energy and diversity of the games with the design adapted from a winning entry by Junichi Kawanishi of the Osaka Design Society. This clean lined design evokes the 'shining rings' idea submitted by Kwanishi and also evokes the idea of rough stones being polished, reflecting the efforts of the participating athletes. The medals are not insubstantial, with each medal having at least half a kilo of metal in it. Interestingly, the gold medal is not pure gold but plated with 6 grams of gold on a solid silver medal. The bronze medal is made from red brass (a combination of copper and zinc). For each medal, the name of the event has been engraved on its side. The ribbons and presentation boxes have been fabricated with a strong nod to traditional Japanese crafts, with the ribbons sporting traditional Japanese motifs and skilled craftsmen making the boxes from Japanese ash, a beautiful legacy from anyone who claims one.
If you thought that Rio 2016 could not be any better, you had better brace yourself for Tokyo. The combination of classic and contemporary Japanese culture, the juxtaposition of mountainous and hilly rural idylls and futuristic urban enclaves, and the warm welcome of this island nation will make this Olympic Games one of the best yet. It is apparent from the planning and attention to detail that the Japanese people have put a lot of effort into these Games and their participation and engagement at every level means a lot to them.
We have now seen the medals, the mascots and the venues, so we are now waiting to see the great drama that will be played out as athletes from around the world contend for one of the exquisite handcrafted medals and a place in history.
Streaming is the best choice for viewing
As with any sporting event, securing tickets can be difficult, but for those of us who cannot be there in person, there are a range of viewing and streaming options that mean that we can keep abreast of coverage anywhere, anytime. For the best quality of viewing it is best to watch free-to-air TV with an aerial or source streamed footage via your local broadcaster. Its great that many domestic broadcasters are actively offering streamed content, meaning more people than ever before can watch the Olympics online.
Avoid pirated content
Free streaming sites may be a temptation to some, but with stringent anti-piracy tech in gear from the Olympic Broadcasting Service, it would be prudent to avoid the more clandestine sports streaming sites and stick to a wide range of streaming devices that will offer Olympic coverage access. For such a memorable event a premium is well worth the investment of paying for a streaming service or device if absolutely necessary.
Keep your viewing local
Finding Japan 2020 Olympic programming is simple. Look for the coverage being offered by your regional broadcaster who has broadcasting rights for the games. Keep abreast of the Games progress and events on any device and don't miss out on 2020's biggest summer celebration. Grab some friends, some snacks and a screen and be a part of the moment!