9 Must-Watch Events at the Tokyo Olympics

| July 3, 2021 6:01 am PDT

Even the most passionate sports fan can’t watch ALL of the sports and disciplines on the schedule of the 2020 Summer Olympics. There are just too many of them, so making a plan might be the smart approach.

If you need some help, I have selected the nine Olympics 2020 events you simply can’t miss. I explain why they should deliver the best viewing experience this summer.

I’ve also added dates and start times, so you can make room for the best events to watch at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Note that these events, and others, will create plenty of interesting betting opportunities. I recommend visiting our guide to betting on the Olympics for more details.

Opening Ceremony

  • Date: July 23
  • Time: 4:00-7:00 am PST
  • Venue: Olympic Stadium, Tokyo

You simply can’t miss the opening ceremony of any Olympic games, let alone an edition that’s in a country with a rich history such as Japan!

I’m sure that the event will be a feast to watch and every host nation prepares carefully for the ceremony that sets the tone for the Olympics. A good start gets everyone excited, so my expectations for this one are really high.

We should see a mix of traditional Japanese rituals, modern dancing, visual elements, and so much more. If you have any doubts about whether you should watch this one, let me remind you how the opening ceremony at the previous Olympics went.

It was a colorful experience and, while the Tokyo ceremony should be more subtle, I’m sure that it will be very entertaining as well. The event should start at 8 pm local time, which means 4 am Pacific time if you’re in the US.

Men’s Middleweight Boxing Final

  • Date: August 6
  • Time: 10:30 pm PST
  • Venue: Kokugikan Arena

Many future stars of pro boxing and world champions shined at the Olympics for the first time. The likes of Anthony Joshua, Lennox Lewis, George Foreman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roy Jones Jr., Ray Leonard, and even Muhammad Ali himself are the best examples, but there are many others.

Watching the boxing tournament is a must for every fan of the sport, and I’m sure you will enjoy most categories.

And yet, one that should be particularly pleasing is the men’s middleweight competition and the final there. The division is stacked as a whole, and I recommend watching out for Oleksandr Khyzhniak.

You won’t see many knockouts in amateur boxing, but the Ukrainian beast can hit very hard and should be entertaining throughout the tournament.

The final in the division is scheduled for 2:30 pm local time on August 7, so you can watch it at 11:30 pm Pacific time in the US.

Men’s Basketball Final

  • Date: August 6
  • Time: 7:30-9:30 pm PST
  • Venue: Saitama Super Arena

Team US is sending a very strong roster for the Tokyo Olympics after the 2018 FIBA World Cup fiasco. The squad includes guys like Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, and other NBA stars, so the Americans enter the tournament as heavy favorites.

And yet, don’t forget that the likes of Giannis, Luka Doncic, and other superstars should be there, too. They might give Team USA a proper fight.

I don’t see the Americans losing on the way to the title, but it should be an entertaining competition. The final will take place on August 6, and the starting time is convenient for the US audience. Make sure you watch this one!

It’s certainly going to be among the most exciting events at the Tokyo Olympics.

Women’s Tennis Final

  • Date: July 31
  • Time: 2 am PST
  • Venue: Ariake Tennis Park – Centre Court

Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem are out of the Olympics, while Roger Federer and many other stars of men’s tennis will probably join them soon.

The competition certainly loses part of its appeal as a result, although Djokovic going for the Golden Slam brings some extra excitement.

However, I think that the women’s tournament will be a joy to watch.

Serena Williams won’t be there, and other popular athletes will miss Tokyo 2020 too, but women’s tennis is so competitive right now that the competition should be exciting despite that.

I recommend watching all matches if you’re a fan of the sport, but even if you’re not, you should at least check the final. There’s extra spice in here, as local star Naomi Osaka is among the favorites.

Women’s Soccer Final

  • Date: August 5
  • Time: 7-10:00 pm PST
  • Venue: Olympic Stadium

Most soccer fans aren’t exactly excited about the men’s Olympic tournament, especially since we have the Euros and the Copa America this summer. It’s an event for youngsters and second-string players, so the overall level is simply not high compared to bigger competitions.

That’s not the case with the women’s event, though. It’s one of the most prestigious trophies in the sport, and all of the best players from all over the globe will be there to fight for the Olympics title.

The group stage of the tournament will likely include plenty of one-sided games that you could afford to skip, but the knockouts are another story. Once we’re down to the best sides, it should get interesting.

Team USA is the favorite for the title here, but there are plenty of opponents that will be dangerous, and the final should be a spectacle.

Men’s Volleyball Final

  • Date: August 7
  • Time: 5:15-7:15 am PST
  • Venue: Ariake Arena

The Olympics title is the most important trophy in volleyball and all the superstars will be at Tokyo 2020. In fact, I have somewhat of a soft spot for this sport and I intend to watch as many matches as possible.

Even if you are not that thrilled by volleyball per se, the men’s final is always very entertaining in pretty much any edition of the Summer Olympics. I expect another cracking show this year, and a bunch of teams could reach the last game.

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Individual All-Around Final

  • Date: July 29
  • Time: 1:50 -4:10 am PST
  • Venue: Ariake Gymnastics Centre

Many believe that Simone Biles is already the greatest gymnast of all time. The American’s list of accolades includes 25 World Championship medals (19 gold) and 5 Summer Olympics medals (4 gold) from Rio.

Biles is a favorite to add more gold medals in Tokyo, both in the group and individual events. The individual all-around discipline is where her brilliance is expected to shine the most, and you can witness history in the making in the final.

Men’s 100 Meters Final

  • Date: August 1
  • Time: 5 am PST
  • Venue: Olympic Stadium

Usain Bolt has been dominating men’s sprints for what seems like forever, but the Jamaican legend is now gone, and some worthy successors will have the chance to leave a mark in the sport’s history at the highest stage.

I was on the fence about which discipline to include here, and I decided to for the 100 meters final. It’s going to be among the best events to watch at the 2020 Olympics for sure.

The fight in the 200 meters dash will be exciting, too, and the athletics schedule as a whole is full of disciplines that are worth your attention.

Closing Ceremony

  • Date: August 8
  • Time: 4:00-7:00 am PST
  • Venue: Olympic Stadium

All good things come to an end, and the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are no exception. The closing ceremony of the games is scheduled for August 8, and it should be a thrilling experience.

There’s not much to be said about this one apart from that the whole world will be watching. I’m sure that the hosts will prepare a show for the ages, so tune in to watch, and you won’t regret it.

Final Words

That’s my list of most exciting events at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Of course, I know that there will be many others that would deliver an emotional experience and phenomenal achievements.

What are your must-watch events for the upcoming games? Let me know in the comments below and make sure to follow our Olympics blog for more interesting posts on the 2020 edition.

Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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