After being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the world’s biggest sporting event, the Olympics, is finally here.
The Tokyo Games officially kicked off on Wednesday, with the opening rounds of soccer and softball, when the Team GB women’s soccer team claimed a very encouraging 2-0 win over Chile.
However, the opening ceremony will not take place until Friday, an event that truly marks the start of the Games.
However, like the rest of the competition, it will be a highly unusual event, with fans from both Japan and abroad banned, with Tokyo under a fourth state of emergency as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
Remarkably, Toshiro Muto, head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, only admitted on Tuesday that the Games could still be canceled, although they will still go ahead as things stand.
With that in mind, Sportsmail takes you through the essential details below.
The Olympics officially kicked off on Wednesday, with the opening ceremony on Friday
When are the Olympics?
The Olympics – still referred to as “Tokyo 2020” – technically kicked off on Wednesday, July 21, when the opening rounds of softball and soccer began.
The Games will end on Sunday, August 8, when the closing ceremony will take place.
Meanwhile, the Paralympic Games will run from August 24 to September 5.
When is the opening ceremony?
The opening ceremony will not take place until Friday, July 23, before a packed two-week program begins.
The ceremony – which will be held in a behind-closed-door Olympic Stadium – will begin at 12 noon BST and last until 3 p.m.
As the number of coronavirus cases among athletes in the Olympic Village continues to rise, the large number of Team GB stars have chosen not to attend, with only about 30 participants.
Officials had hoped about 50 athletes would participate, which would still be a fraction of the usual 200 in pre-pandemic times.
The ceremony will be broadcast on BBC One and Eurosport, with viewers able to watch both through their streaming services.
What time are the UK Olympics?
Unfortunately for Olympic fans in the UK, Tokyo is eight hours ahead, meaning much of the action will be played at night and early morning.
Most of the events take place between midnight and 3pm UK time.
How to watch the Olympics?
Team GB kicked off their Olympic campaign on Wednesday when the women’s soccer team defeated Chile 2-0
There are two rights holders for the Olympic action this summer in the UK, namely the BBC and Eurosport.
The BBC will broadcast more than 350 hours of action during the Games, with their coverage starting at midnight each night and ending at 9pm.
Viewers with a valid TV license can stream the action via the BBC’s iPlayer.
They will also have radio broadcasts every day on BBC Radio 5 Live from 1am to 9am and 11am to 2pm with the shows available to catch up on BBC Sounds.
Eurosport – which costs £6.99 per month for a subscription – will broadcast 445 hours of action over their two channels during the Games.
Live coverage will be followed by wall-to-wall replays, while their ‘Tokyo Today’ program will show daily highlights after the day’s action.
Who will present the BBC’s coverage?
It will be JJ Chalmers who will get the action going from midnight to 5am every night. Chalmers will be followed by Dan Walker and Sam Quek, who will co-host a ‘special edition’ of the BBC breakfast from 5am to 9am.
Hazel Irvine and Gabby Logan then take over from 9am to 3pm, with Jason Mohammad following them from 3pm to 6pm.
Finally, Clare Balding and Alex Scott wrap up the day’s coverage from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM.
There will also be a highlights show on BBC Two from 9pm to 10pm.
What are the new sports in Tokyo?
Skateboarding is one of the five new sports disciplines at this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo
The 2020 Summer Olympics will feature five new sports: skateboarding, karate, baseball/softball, surfing and sport climbing.
The sports were approved by unanimous vote of 90 IOC members. The additions will bring 470 additional athletes to the Games, as well as 18 new events.
The original motivation behind the introduction of the new sport was to ‘bring sport to the youth’.
Tokyo Olympics schedule
Team GB finished second in Rio 2016 when they collected 27 gold medals, and they will be looking for another successful tournament this summer.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will feature 339 events in 33 different sports, held at 43 competition venues.
- Archery: July 23-31
- Artistic Gymnastics: July 24 – August 3
- Artistic Swimming: August 2-7
- Athletics: July 30 – August 8
- Badminton: July 24 – August 2
- Baseball: July 28 – August 7
- 3×3 basketball: July 24-28
- Basketball: July 25 – August 8
- Beach Volleyball: July 24 – August 7
- Boxing: July 24 – August 8
- Canoe slalom: July 25-30
- Canoe sprint: August 2-7
- Cycling (BMX Freestyle): July 31 – August 1
- Cycling (BMX Racing): July 29 – 30
- Cycling (Mountain Biking): July 26 – 27
- Cycling (road racing): July 24-25; July 28
- Cycling (track): August 2-8
- Diving: July 25 – August 7
- Equestrian: July 24 – August 7
- Fencing: July 24 – August 1
- Football: July 21 – August 7
- Golf: July 29 – August 1; August 4-7
- Handball: July 24 – August 8
- Hockey: July 24 – August 6
- Judo: July 24-31
- Karate: August 5-7
- Marathon swimming: August 4-5
- Modern pentathlon: August 5-7
- Rhythmic Gymnastics: August 6-8
- Rowing: July 23-30
- Rugby: July 26-31
- Sailing: July 25 – August 4
- Shooting: July 24 – August 2
- Swimming: July 24 – August 1
- Skateboarding: July 25-26; August 4-5
- Sport climbing: August 3-6
- Softball: July 21-27
- Surfing: July 25 – August 1
- Table tennis: July 24 – August 6
- Taekwondo: July 24-27
- Tennis: July 24 – August 1
- Trampoline Gymnastics: July 30-31 July
- Triathlon: July 26-27; July 31
- Volleyball: July 24 – August 8
- Water Polo: July 24 – August 8
- Weightlifting: July 24 – August 4
- Wrestling: August 1-7