Olympics Opening Ceremony Time 2021: TV Schedule, Live Stream and Kickoff Info

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 22, 2021

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - JULY 22: Olympics rings are seen at sunset on July 22, 2021 in Yokohama, Japan. Olympics opening ceremony director, Kentaro Kobayashi, has been sacked on the eve of the event after footage emerged in which he appeared to make jokes about the Holocaust. Mr Kobayashi follows a number of other figures involved in the Tokyo Olympic Games who have had to step down for inappropriate remarks. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images)
Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympics will officially begin on Friday with the opening ceremony. 

It will be unlike any other opening ceremony in the history of the Games because it will take place inside a nearly empty stadium with no fans in attendance. 

There will also be a limited presence of athletes parading through the stadium because of the COVID-19 restrictions within Japan.

The United States of America will be led out by women's basketball star Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez, who were both announced as the flag bearers earlier this week. 

Since Japan is 14 hours ahead of the United States' east coast, there are opportunities to watch the ceremony live in the morning and on tape delay at night on NBC.


Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony Info

Date: Friday, July 23

Start Time: 6:55 a.m. ET 

Tape Delay Broadcast: 7:30 p.m. ET 


Live Stream: NBCsports.com and NBC Sports app


The United States chose one of its most decorated Summer Olympians and an athlete with an intriguing back story to lead them into the stadium on Friday night. 

Sue Bird is a four-time gold medalist with the women's basketball team, and she will be going for her fifth first-place finish over the next two weeks. 

Bird went into detail about what the honor of being a flag bearer means to her, per ESPN.com:

"It's an incredible honor to be selected the flag bearer for Team USA. I know what that means, because I got to witness Dawn Staley go through it when she was selected in 2004. It's an honor that is bigger than the moment in that you've been selected by your fellow Team USA athletes to represent the entire delegation, and it will last forever."

Bird and her teammates will begin their latest gold-medal defense on Tuesday against Nigeria at the Saitama Super Arena. France and Japan are the other two teams in their group. 

Alvarez has one of the most unique Olympic stories in the American delegation. When he plays his first baseball game in Japan, he will become a rare Summer and Winter Olympian. 

Alvarez won the silver medal in the 5,000-meter relay in short-track speedskating at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. 

Since then, the 31-year-old pursued his baseball career. He initially signed with the Chicago White Sox organization and now plays in the Miami Marlins' minor-league system. 

Alvarez made his major league debut at the end of the 2020 season and is on the roster at Triple-A Jacksonville. 

Alvarez described the flag bearer designation as an honor after he learned of the title, per MLB.com's Brian Murphy.

"It is an honor and a privilege to be named as one of the flag bearers by my fellow Team USA athletes for the Opening Ceremony," Alvarez said. "Being a first-generation Cuban American, my story represents the American Dream. My family has sacrificed so much for me to have the opportunity to wave this flag proudly."

Alvarez and Bird will lead out a limited delegation of American athletes because of the restrictions in place in Japan.

The parade of athletes will still occur, but the typical high volume of Olympians we usually see will not be in place. 

The attendance of non-athletes will be limited to 1,000 people, per The Japan TimesA majority of those people will be dignitaries, VIPs and politicians from around the world. 

After the opening ceremony concludes, a full slate of events is scheduled to take place on Saturday. Soccer, cycling, archery and 3-on-3 basketball are among the sports that will be contested on the first official day of the Games. 


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