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Carry the Torch: Things You Don't Want to Miss at the Tokyo Olympics

July 23rd is approaching faster than you can blink. Finally, after a year of waiting, athletes, coaches, and fans are ready to kick off the Tokyo Olympics. The Olympics Schedule is jam-packed - here's what you don't want to miss.

The arrival of the Torch

As the tradition of the torch relay continues, this year is no different. With the theme "hope lights the way," the Tokyo Olympics torch pays tribute to the cherry blossom, a vital flower in Japanese culture. The Torch's shape mimics the cherry blossom with five petals from which the flames emerge. This relay began in late March 2021 (coinciding with when cherry blossoms hit their peak bloom).

Did you know: About 30% of the aluminum in each Torch this year was constructed using temporary housing units used during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster aftermath. Learn more about the Torch in our Kids Guide to the Olympics.

The Opening Ceremony

It's the moment we've all been waiting for - the Tokyo Olympics are here! The first major gathering since the pandemic will be broadcast with special coverage of Team USA on the Today Show on NBC. Since Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of the East Coast, set your clocks for the live broadcast on NBC across all time zones starting at 6:55 a.m. E.T./3:55 a.m. P.T. It's early, so plan your bedtime and coffee accordingly.

Even if you hit the ‘snooze button’ a few times, the primetime broadcast will start at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT. You don't want to miss out on any of the memorable performances and the Parade of Nations!

Did you know: For the parade of nations, athletes enter the stadium in an order dictated by tradition. The Greek team always enters first as they start the games. Learn more about the Opening Ceremony in our Kids Guide to the Olympics.

Watch the greatest matchups

Some of the best matchups in Olympic history are happening this year! Grab the competition schedule here and plan your week accordingly. Don’t miss the U.S. vs. Sweden in Soccer or Lisa Carrington vs. Danuta Kozak in the Canoe Sprint.

Did you know: There are more independent entities competing in the Tokyo Olympics but only 195 different countries? That means that some countries have different contingents competing independently of one another. Learn more about matchups and sports in our Kids Guide to the Olympics.

Stay in the know!

The Olympics is premiering six new sports this year, and we're ready to educate your family on all of them. Test your knowledge, complete fun activities, and more with our Kids Guide to the Olympics. Download your copy today!


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