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How to watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics live for free: Live stream the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics anywhere in the world

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics come to an end this Sunday. Here’s how to watch the medal events for free anywhere in the world

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics is currently underway with live events every single day until 8 August. UK viewers will be pleased to know that most marquee Olympics events will be broadcast on BBC in the UK. Similarly, the Olympics will be broadcast on free-to-watch service Channel 7 in Australia and Peacock TV in the US (which has a free trial). You can access all the aforementioned services from abroad using a good VPN service, like ExpressVPN.

Originally scheduled to take place last year, the event was postponed because of the pandemic. For those of you wondering, it retains the name “Tokyo Olympics 2020” despite being held this year, mainly for marketing and branding purposes. The 17-day event concludes this Sunday, 8 August.

Because of the eight-hour time difference between Tokyo and the UK, events usually start early in the morning UK time and go on until late afternoon. This is the first time that the Olympic Games have been rescheduled rather than cancelled. Previously, three summer and two winter Olympics had to be cancelled because of the war. UK fans will be pleased to know that Paris is hosting the next (2024) Olympics Games.

Over 200 nations are participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will feature 33 sports at 339 events, encompassing 50 disciplines taking place across 42 venues in Japan. New competitions this year include 3×3 basketball, freestyle BMX and madison cycling.

If you’re looking to earmark two dates on your calendar when you should be up early to watch the games, then pencil in Sunday, 1 August, because this day will see 25 medals handed out for events like swimming, tennis and boxing. But the most Olympic medals will be handed out on the penultimate day of the Olympics – Saturday, 7 August – which is when events like diving, football and golf conclude.

Tokyo has banned entry to foreigners from 159 countries – including the UK, which means that no international fans can travel to the games. Up to 10,000 Japanese fans will be able to attend, provided the crowd in any given venue does not exceed 50% of capacity. Fans won’t be allowed to shout or speak loudly and will be expected to wear facemasks at all times.

When do the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games start and end?

While some Olympic events – namely football and softball – start from 21 July 2021, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony is on 23 July 2021 and the closing ceremony is on 8 August 2021. The 17-day event will be directly followed by the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics games that will be held from 24 August to 5 September.

How to watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics live for free in the UK: BBC

UK viewers will be happy to know that the national broadcaster BBC (One and Two) will have more than 350 hours of television coverage during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with live coverage every day from 23 July, right until the very end on 8 August. Since travel to the Japanese capital is restricted, TV coverage will be presented from a virtual reality studio, with a backdrop of Tokyo to simulate the live atmosphere for the millions of viewers back home.

The BBC’s team of presenters include familiar names, such as Clare Balding, Gabby Logan, Alex Scott and Jason Mohammad, while the punditry team include former Olympic winners Jessica Ennis-Hill, Nicola Adams, Rebecca Adlington, Michael Johnson, Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton.

If you’re travelling, you can follow BBC’s Olympic coverage on the BBC iPlayer app on your mobile device or listen to live updates on BBC Radio 5 Live. Alternatively, you can follow the BBC Sport website for live text updates, videos and breaking news.

READ NEXT: How to listen to BBC radio abroad

Watch BBC iPlayer Live

How to watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics live in the UK: Eurosport

Apart from the BBC, the other streaming service that has secured the rights to broadcast the event in the UK is the television sports network, Eurosport. However, unlike the BBC, Eurosport is a paid-for subscription service.

There are three subscription plans available – £6.99/mnth, an annual pass that costs £4.99/mnth for a year, or the cheapest plan – an annual pass that costs £39.99/year. All passes include live coverage in HD resolution, the ability to stream content on multiple devices, and even multi-camera angles to get the best view possible.

Subscribe to Eurosport

How to watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics live for free in Australia: Channel 7

Apart from the UK, the only other country that’s broadcasting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on a free-to-air channel is Australia, courtesy of Channel 7. All you need is to create a free account and you should be good to go.

Watch Channel 7 live

How to watch the Tokyo 2020 Olympics live in the US: NBC and Peacock TV

The United States of America usually walks away with the most Olympic gold medals every year. While this year could be different because of the pandemic and uncertainty going around all over the globe, you can’t write off the US when it comes to the Olympics.

US viewers have two options to watch the Olympics this year: NBC and Peacock TV. The latter is a streaming service that costs $4.99/mnth (or $49.99/year) but comes with a weeklong free trial. Similarly, you can watch NBCSN for around $35/mnth because it comes as part of a Sling Blue package, which usually has discounts and offers, especially if you’re using the service for the first time.

Subscribe to Peacock TV Watch Olympics on NBC

How to watch the Olympics for free anywhere in the world: use a good VPN service

You’ll find that almost all of the above streaming services are geo-blocked, meaning you won’t be able to access BBC iPlayer from outside the UK, Channel 7 from outside Australia and so on – unless you use a good VPN service. A VPN basically secures your entire network by hiding whatever you do online, on any device, from your ISP and anyone else trying to secretly access your connection.

One of its best features is that it lets you “virtually” connect to any server in the world you want, thereby fooling your device into thinking that it’s based in any country that you choose. So, for example, you can be sitting in the US and access BBC iPlayer for free, or be sitting in India and access Channel 7 in Australia.

In the recent past, VPNs have mushroomed in popularity, which means that many VPNs masquerade as free or good value for money only for you to later realise that there are hidden costs involved. With this in mind, we’ve sorted out the wheat from the chaff to bring you two of the best VPN services that will let you stream the Olympics from wherever you are.

READ NEXT: Best VPN services 2021

ExpressVPN: Among all the VPNs we’ve reviewed, we’ve rated ExpressVPN as the very best for streaming in our updated review. Even though the service costs more than its rivals, it’s worth paying for because of its gold-standard security measures and support for a wide range of platforms. Its fast speeds mean you’ll be able to stream the Olympics in HD resolution regardless of which device you’re watching from.

Buy ExpressVPN now

NordVPN: Another top-tier VPN this year is NordVPN because of its impressive combination of speed, security and ability to stream multiple streaming services, including the BBC iPlayer from abroad. Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN can be used on multiple devices at the same time and it comes with 24/7 customer support and a 30-days no-questions-asked moneyback guarantee for new customers, which means that you can try it risk-free.

Buy NordVPN now

Who are Team GB’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopefuls?

Team GB announced a squad of 65 athletes that will travel to Tokyo to represent the nation at the upcoming Olympic Games. One of the biggest Olympic hopefuls is Katarina Johnson-Thompson who won gold at the 2019 World Championships in Doha setting a national record in the heptathlon event.

Dina Asher-Smith (pictured above) came fifth in the 200m in Rio but again won gold in the 2019 World Championships to make her the one to beat in Tokyo, with the nation’s expectations riding on her strong shoulders in the athletics track and field races. Other Olympic medal hopefuls are multiple gold-medalist Laura Muir (running) and Holly Bradshaw (pole vault).

How did Team GB fare at the last Olympic games?

Team GB finished in second place, behind the USA and ahead of China, at last year’s 2016 Summer Olympic games that took place in Rio, Brazil. The team finished with a tally of 27 gold medals, 23 silver medals and 17 bronze medals, making it a total of 67 medals. In comparison, USA finished with 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze medals, with a total of 121 medals.

Some of the notable winners at the 2016 Olympics were Adam Peaty who won in the Men’s 100m breaststroke swimming; Mo Farah who famously won the men’s 5000m and 10,000m Athletics race; Andy Murray who won gold in tennis; and Nicola Adams who won the Women’s Flyweight Boxing gold.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Schedule

  • Football: 21 July to 7 August
  • Softball: 21 July to 27 July
  • Rowing: 23 July to 30 July
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony: Friday, 23 July
  • Archery: 23 to 31 July
  • Badminton: 24 July to 2 August
  • 3×3 Basketball: 24 to 28 July
  • Boxing: 24 July to 1 August
  • Road cycling: 24 July to 28 July
  • Equestrian: 24 July to 7 August
  • Fencing: 24 July to 1 August
  • Field Hockey: 24 July to 6 August
  • Artistic Gymnastics: 24 July to 3 August
  • Handball: 24 July to 8 August
  • Judo: 24 July to 31 July
  • Shooting: 24 July to 2 August
  • Swimming: 24 July to 5 August
  • Table Tennis: 24 July to 6 August
  • Taekwondo: 24 July to 27 July
  • Tennis: 24 July to 1 August
  • Beach volleyball: 24 July to 7 August
  • Volleyball: 24 July to 8 August
  • Water polo: 24 July to 7 August
  • Weightlifting: 24 July to 4 August
  • Basketball: 25 July to 8 August
  • Slalom canoeing: 25 July to 20 July
  • Diving: 25 July to 7 August
  • Sailing: 25 July to 4 August
  • Surfing: 25 July to 28 July
  • Skateboarding: 25 July to 5 August
  • Mountain biking: 26 July to 27 July
  • Rugby sevens: 26 July to 31 July
  • Triathlon: 26 July to 31 July
  • Baseball: 28 July to 7 August
  • Golf: 29 July to 1 August
  • BMX cycling: 29 July to 1 August
  • Athletics: 30 July to 8 July
  • Trampolining: 30 July to 31 July
  • Wrestling: 1 August to 7 August
  • Artistic swimming: 2 August to 7 August
  • Sprint canoeing: 2 August to 7 August
  • Track cycling: 2 August to 8 August
  • Sport climbing: 3 August to 6 August
  • Karate: 5 August to 8 August
  • Modern pentathlon: 5 August to 8 August
  • Rhythming gymnastics: 6 August to 8 August
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics Closing ceremony: 8 August

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