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Day -2: What to watch Tuesday night, Wednesday morning at the Tokyo Olympics

Day -2: What to watch Tuesday night, Wednesday morning at the Tokyo Olympics
Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 17:45:00-04

Each day of the Tokyo Games, NBC Olympics will provide a rundown of the biggest athletes and the biggest events to watch across a variety of sports. Every single event can be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, and many can also be seen on the television networks of NBC. For even more events, visit the Olympic schedule page to find listings for specific sports or TV networks.

The Tokyo Olympic Games, originally scheduled for 2020, have finally arrived. Although the Opening Ceremony is still a few days away, the first sporting competitions get underway on Tuesday night (U.S. time) and Wednesday morning with preliminary-round games in two sports.

Softball and women’s soccer will take the stage on this first day of competition, and the United States will be among the countries in action for both sports. Meanwhile, the U.S. men’s gymnastics team will participate in podium training ahead of this week’s qualifying session.

Below is a rundown of all the events happening on what’s known as “Day -2,” a.k.a. two days before the Opening Ceremony.

Softball

Softball makes its long-awaited return the Olympics on Tuesday night and will be the first sport to get underway at the Tokyo Games. All six teams, including the United States, will be featured as part of back-to-back-to-back games at the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium.

Past history would suggest that the U.S. and Japan are on a collision course for softball’s gold medal match — they’ve met in the final of every Olympic or world championship tournament since 2006 — but the nature of the Olympic format means that just one loss could create a roadblock for either team.

With only two teams advancing out of pool play and straight into the gold medal game, the margin for error is small. Japan will take the field first as it plays Australia in the opener at 8 p.m. ET. Then Team USA, which features 2008 Olympians Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott, will get its campaign underway at 11 p.m. ET with a game against Italy.

These will be the first Olympic softball matches in 13 years, as the sport was off the program in 2012 and 2016. Competition aside, this set of games will be notable for their location. Fukushima was devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in 2011, and although spectators will be barred from attending due to local coronavirus measures, hosting the very first event of the Olympics there is meant to be a symbol of the area’s recovery.

Australia vs. Japan

  • Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

United States vs. Italy

  • Start Time: 11 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Mexico vs. Canada

  • Start Time: 2 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Women's Soccer

The U.S. women highlight a packed slate of group play as they begin their quest for redemption with a match against Sweden in Group G at 4:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. 

The reigning World Cup champs broke a three-Games gold medal streak in 2016, when Germany won gold and Sweden won silver after knocking the U.S. out of medal contention for the first time ever. 

Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe will lead an American team that returns almost the entire 2019 Women's World Cup championship squad. Sisters Kristie and Sam Mewis make their Olympic debuts as mainstay Carli Lloyd, who competed in 2008, 2012 and 2016, eyes retirement after Tokyo. 

The U.S. Women's National Team has 22 wins in its last 23 games, drawing Sweden 1-1 in April of this year, and the team hasn't lost a match since January of 2019.

This summer marks 25 years since women's soccer debuted at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Great Britain vs. Chile
Group E

  • Start Time: 3:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: Olympic Channel
  • Live Stream: Watch

China vs. Brazil
Group F

  • Start Time: 4 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

United States vs. Sweden
Group G

  • Start Time: 4:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA
  • Live Stream: Watch

Japan vs. Canada
Group E

  • Start Time: 6:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Zambia vs. Netherlands
Group F

  • Start Time: 7 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: Olympic Channel
  • Live Stream: Watch

Australia vs. New Zealand
Group G

  • Start Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA
  • Live Stream: Watch

Men's Gymnastics

The men kick off gymnastics practice early Wednesday morning, with the U.S. team participating in its official podium training session at 6:30 a.m. ET as part of Subdivision 3. The American men — comprised of U.S. champ Brody Malone, veteran Sam Mikulak, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus and Alec Yoder — are in search of the country's first men's team medal since 2008.

They will be joined in that subdivision by Germany, Chinese Taipei and South Korea, as well as two mixed groups with gymnasts from Italy, Uzbekistan and more.

The U.S. women's podium training will begin Thursday morning at 2:10 a.m. ET.

United States Men's Podium Training

  • Start Time: 6:30 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch