The Olympics were supposed to be part of the summer of 2020 (thanks, COVID!), but they're taking place this summer and you don't want to miss out. Here are the most important things you need to know about the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.

The Basics

The Olympic Games start on Friday, July 23rd, and end on Sunday, August 8th. They're in Tokyo, Japan, and even though they'll be televised, there won't be the kinds of in-person crowds that would have normally been there. The pandemic has changed everything, and there won't be spectators this year. Most events will happen behind closed doors, instead. Fortunately, it's all still available on TV for everyone to enjoy.

The pandemic marked the first time the Olympic Games have ever been postponed. They've been canceled before, and they've been boycotted by various teams for various reasons. But they've never been moved to a new location or moved to a different date. COVID was something no one expected, and moving the games to the following year gave athletes who had trained so hard a chance to still compete when the world got better again. Now we get to see that training and competition in action and share in their joy.

Athletes to Watch

Simone Biles is one of the athletes to watch. Of course, that's been true of her entire career. She seemingly came out of nowhere and was able to capture the hearts of so many Americans with her spunky style and amazing abilities. Now, all of that will be on full display when she competes against some of the best and brightest in the world. Seeing what she does will be a highlight of the games for many people.

Like soccer? The women's team wants to win the Olympic Games to add to their World Cup win. That's where Alex Morgan and the rest of her talented teammates come in. Morgan has made history as the fifth leading goal scorer for the women's soccer team, and the team's got a lot to prove. In 1999 and 2015, the team also won the World Cup, but it was followed up by disappointment at the Olympics. Maybe this will be the year to change that.

If you're into swimming, keep an eye out for Katie Ledecky. At 24, she's competing in her third Olympic Games. She may not be as dominant as she was in Rio, but she's still quite the contender. Her best event is the 1500-meter freestyle, and it's been added to the Olympics this year. Ledecky is the favorite in that event and also in the 800. In 2016, she won that event by over 11 seconds. In sports where tenths and even hundredths of a second can count, that's completely unheard of. She'll be one to watch.

Of course, there are many other athletes to keep an eye on. The biggest recommendation for this Olympics is don't miss any of it. Watch it as much as you can, and record the parts you won't be able to watch in person, so you can check them out later. With so much talent going on in so many different categories, you don't want to miss out on what could be some of the biggest moments in Olympic television history.

The Biggest Events

There are some new competitions this year. That includes madison cycling, 3x3 basketball, and freestyle BMX, along with other mixed events. The host organizing committee was allowed to add new sports to the program under the rules of the IOC, so they could augment the events that were already there. These sports included karate, surfing, sport climbing, and skateboarding. Baseball and softball are also coming back, and they haven't been part of the Olympics since 2008!

In addition to all of those new events, there will be plenty of more expected events that are usually seen every time there's an Olympic Games held. Events like gymnastics are definitely must-watch events, with the women's gymnastic team being one of the biggest draws and the most news-worthy, too. Simone Biles and others on the team are often in the news for their amazing abilities, and that's not going to be any different as the dates for the games draw closer.

With so many great athletes and all different types of events, the Olympics are really going to be something to watch this summer. Sure, it would have been nice if they could have been held in 2020 like they had been planned to be. It also would have been nice if the spectators could be there, and it will be strange for the athletes who are used to big crowds, too. But the spirit of the games is there, and that will definitely be felt, even through the TV. The full schedule of events is here.

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