The world’s top competitors are out to prove they are the best in their respective sports at the 2021 Summer Olympics. Approximately 11,000 athletes will be in Tokyo, where the Games will take place over 19 straight days.

The opening ceremony will take place Friday night in Tokyo, but the action actually starts a few days earlier. With softball and soccer on the schedule Wednesday and Thursday, it’s the women that will kick off the event.

All 12 women’s soccer teams start group play Wednesday, starting with Great Britain and Chile at 4:30 p.m. local time. The United States women’s soccer team plays its first match at 5 p.m. local time (4 a.m. EDT) against Sweden. Sweden defeated the U.S. at the 2016 Games, ending Team USA’s bid for a fourth straight gold medal.

Group play for men’s soccer starts Thursday with eight matches. The women’s gold medal match is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 6 at Olympic Stadium. International Stadium Yokohama will host the men’s gold medal match the following night.

 

 

The softball gold medal game is on Tuesday, July 27. The baseball gold medal game is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 7.

Team USA will look to continue its dominance in basketball a few days after the opening ceremony. The U.S. men’s team takes on France Sunday night as group play begins. The U.S. women’s team will play their first group stage game on Tuesday, July 27 in a contest against Nigeria.

The U.S. men are expected to be in the gold medal game on Saturday, Aug. 7. The same goes for the women’s basketball team on Sunday, Aug. 8. While the American men are seeking their fourth straight gold medal, it’s been 29 years since the U.S. women were stopped from winning Olympic gold.

 

 

Even with the success of the basketball teams, the greatest U.S. Olympian in Tokyo might be a gymnast. Simone Biles won four gold medals in 2016, and her quest for more starts Sunday with the artistic gymnastics women’s team qualification Sunday. The women’s team final is two nights later on Tuesday, July 27. 

Biles is favored to win the women’s all-around finals on Thursday, July 29. Each day from Aug. 1-3, Biles could have a chance to win a gold medal.

 

 

The men’s golf gold medal winner for individual stroke play will be determined on Sunday, Aug. 1, while the women’s gold medal is set to be decided six days later. There are medal events scheduled for swimming every day from July 25 to Aug. 1.

The closing ceremony is Sunday, Aug. 8.

Click here for the entire schedule of events at the Tokyo Olympics.

An aerial shot of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Village, which will house thousands of athletes An aerial shot of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Village, which will house thousands of athletes Photo: AFP / Behrouz MEHRI