When do the Olympic Games start? Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Dates, 2021 Schedule & UK Time Difference Explained


The final countdown to the Tokyo Olympics is underway after authorities confirmed the Games will run “100%” this summer. Tokyo 2020 Last year. Yet the majority of the Japanese public are not so enthusiastic about the country hosting the Olympics, according to a recent poll by the Nikkei newspaper. Here is when the The Olympics will start in 2021, what is the current situation of Covid in Tokyo and why the Japanese public are concerned.

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When do the Tokyo Olympics start?

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Tokyo Olympics will take place from Friday July 23 to Sunday August 8, 2021.

The opening ceremony for the Games will take place at the country’s Olympic Stadium from 8:00 p.m. local time (JST) on July 23.

Japan Standard Time (JST) is eight hours ahead of British Summer Time (BST), meaning the ceremony will start at noon for UK viewers.

The closing ceremony, which marks the end of the Games, will take place from 8 p.m. JST (12 p.m. BST) on August 8 at the same location.

What is the program for the Tokyo Olympics?

Organizers have had to rethink their initial plans due to the postponement of the Games for 12 months due to the Covid pandemic.

This meant that the original schedule, July 24 to August 9, 2020, was torn up in March just months ahead of the scheduled Games date.

Despite the postponement – a first in Games history – the event retained the Tokyo 2020 name for branding purposes.

Tokyo Olympics to feature a record 33 competitions and 339 events hosted at 42 competition venues

Which sports will debut at the Tokyo Olympics?

This is in addition to the core events synonymous with the Olympics.

The Tokyo Olympics will see freestyle BMX, three-on-three basketball, karate, surfing and skateboarding make their debuts at the Games.

Athletes will compete in baseball and softball sporting events at the Olympics for the first time since Beijing 2008.

What is the Covid situation in Japan?

Less than a month before the start of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan is still grappling with a fourth wave of Covid cases.

No less than 10 regions of the country – including Tokyo – are in a state of emergency until July 12, but the Games will take place “at 100%”.

This is the verdict of Seiko Hashimoto, president of Tokyo 2020, who added that the only question at the moment is how the organizers are going to have “even more safe and secure Games”.

Why are the Japanese public against hosting the Olympics?

Although the number of infections generally tends to decline, the arrival of 90,000 athletes, officials, journalists and support staff is cause for concern.

Much of this is based on three factors: keeping hospitalizations and deaths to a minimum, avoiding more transmissible variants, and careful deployment of vaccines.

A fraction of more than 12% of the total population of Japan has been fully vaccinated against Covid – around 15 million people vaccinated in a country of 126 million people.