January 20, 2021

Tokyo Olympics: Key dates, events on road to Opening Ceremony – Home of the Olympic Channel

Tokyo Olympics: Key dates, events on road to Opening Ceremony - Home of the Olympic Channel
Tokyo Olympics: Key dates, events on road to Opening Ceremony - Home of the Olympic Channel

Tokyo Olympics dates: Key events on the six-month road to the Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony on July 23 …

CONCACAF Olympic Men’s Soccer Qualifying Tournament
March 18-30, Guadalajara
While the U.S. women are the world’s best, the men failed to qualify for the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. They must reach the final in Guadalajara to qualify for Tokyo. Some of the U.S.’ best players, including Christian PulisicWeston McKennie and Gio Reyna, are age-eligible for the under-23 qualifying tournament but unlikely to be on the roster given European club commitments.

Olympic Torch Relay Resumption
March 25, Fukushima, Japan
The Japanese portion of the torch relay was due to start last March 26, but was suspended when the Olympics were postponed last March 24. Its resumption a year later will follow the original route, starting in an area affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials
April 10-11, Penn State
One wrestler per weight class can qualify for Tokyo. All three of the active U.S. Olympic gold medalists face challenges. London Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs likely must beat two-time world champion Kyle DakeKyle Snyder, who in Rio became the youngest U.S. Olympic wrestling champion, has two-time world champion J’den Cox in his bracket. And Helen Maroulis, who in Rio became the first U.S. Olympic women’s wrestling champion, is coming back from concussions and brain trauma that nearly ended her career.

French Open
May 23-June 6, Paris
The last tennis tournament before the Olympic tennis qualifying cutoff. Novak DjokovicRafael NadalRoger FedererNaomi Osaka and Serena Williams are all but assured singles places in Tokyo. Notable unknowns: Venus Williams and Coco Gauff, both significantly outside of qualifying among the top four U.S. women at the moment. But both also candidates for up to two doubles-only Olympic spots.

ON HER TURF: U.S. women who can extend medal streak in Tokyo

U.S. Olympic Diving Trials
June 6-13, Indianapolis
The top two per individual event and each winning synchronized event pair go to Tokyo, provided the U.S. qualifies remaining quota spots at the FINA World Cup in Tokyo in February. David Boudia is the headliner. The four-time Olympic platform medalist switched to the springboard after a February 2018 concussion and was fifth at the 2019 World Championships.

U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials
June 13-20, Omaha
The top two per individual event qualify for Tokyo, plus extras in the 100m and 200m freestyles for relays. Katie Ledecky, four-time Rio gold medalist, could make the team in five events, including the Olympic debut of the women’s 1500m freestyle. Simone Manuel is a candidate for six events after winning seven medals at the 2019 Worlds. And Caeleb Dressel, who earned eight medals at the 2019 Worlds, might qualify in seven races when including relays.

U.S. Open (Men)
June 17-20, Torrey Pines, Calif.
The U.S. boasts 12 of the world’s top 16 male golfers, but only four can go to Tokyo. The U.S. Open is the last Olympic qualifier, after which the world rankings determine the Tokyo field. As of now, the U.S. qualifiers are projected to be Dustin JohnsonJustin ThomasBryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele.

U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials
June 18-27, Eugene, Ore.
The top three per individual event (in most cases) qualify for Tokyo. World 200m champion Noah Lyles is the favorite to win the men’s 100m and 200m, following the suspension of world 100m champion Christian ColemanAllyson Felix, a nine-time medalist, eyes a fifth Olympic team (her first as a mom) and to break Carl Lewis‘ record of 10 medals for a U.S. track and field athlete.

ON HER TURF: Young U.S. female athletes who can make history in Tokyo

Women’s PGA Championship
June 24-27, Atlanta Athletic Club (Johns Creek, Ga.)
The last LPGA Tour event before the world rankings determine the Olympic field. Nelly KordaDanielle Kang and Lexi Thompson are currently the U.S.’ highest-ranked golfers, but major championships can significantly alter rankings.

U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials
June 24-27, St. Louis
USA Gymnastics re-combined the men’s and women’s trials to the same weekend, three weeks after the national championships in Fort Worth, Texas. This should be the last domestic competition of Simone Biles‘ career. The U.S. men’s and women’s teams — up to six gymnasts per gender — will be named shortly after the end of competition.

Tokyo Olympics
July 23: Opening Ceremony
The Games officially open inside the Olympic Stadium, two days after competition starts with preliminary softball and soccer games. On July 24, 16 consecutive days of medal competition begin in Tokyo, which previously hosted in 1964.

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