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Athletes to follow during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

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The long-awaited 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo have officially begun following a pandemic pushback that postponed the Games for one year. Although in-person spectators won’t be allowed due to a state of emergency prompted by COVID-19 in Japan, there is still plenty to look forward to this year, as multiple Olympians have the potential to make history.

Keep track of these eight standout stars at this year’s competition with the following schedules, and find more coverage at CBS Sports. All events are tentative and listed in Eastern time. Live coverage of the events will air live on Peacock and re-air on NBC, NBCSN and USA.

1. Erriyon Knighton, Track and Field, USA

At 17 years old, Erriyon Knighton earlier this year broke a record that Usain Bolt had held for 18 years. He ran the 200 meter race in 20.11 seconds, beating Bolt’s 2003 record, when he ran the same race in 20.13 seconds, according to CBS Sports. Knighton is the youngest American man to make the track and field team since the 1964 Olympic Games.

Watch when Knighton could compete:

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Monday, August 2

Tuesday, August 3

Wednesday, August 4

2. Naomi Osaka, Tennis, Japan

Representing her birth country of Japan, Naomi Osaka, 23, will be fighting for gold in this year’s competition. The four-time Grand Slam singles champion on Friday became the first tennis player in Olympics history to light the famous game cauldron at the opening ceremony, according to the Women’s Tennis Association. She was the first Asian player to ever hold the No. 1 ranking in tennis and is currently ranked number 2 in the world. 

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Osaka took a break from competition this summer after she withdrew from the 2021 French Open to protect her mental health. She skipped Wimbledon in 2021 as well, but she’ll return to the courts vying for Japan’s first gold medal for tennis at the Olympics. 

Watch when Osaka could compete:

Saturday, July 24

  • Women’s Singles First Round, 10 p.m. Def. Zheng Saisai, China, 6-1 6-4

Sunday, July 25

Monday, July 26

Wednesday, July 28

Thursday, July 28

Saturday, July 31

3. Kevin Durant, Basketball, USA

Kevin Durant, 32, of the Brooklyn Nets is looking to become the second player in USA Basketball history to win three gold medals, according to the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee. Durant is one of only four male basketball players selected for three or more Olympic teams and has played on 11 different USA Basketball teams.

The U.S. men’s team has collected a medal in all 18 Olympic games they’ve participated in, the NBA reported. As leader of the national team in Tokyo this year, Durant is tasked with extending their streak. 

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Watch when Durant could compete:

Sunday, July 25

Wednesday, July 28

Friday, July 31

Tuesday, August 3

Monday, August 5

Tuesday, August 6

Wednesday, August 7

4. Sky Brown, Skateboarding, Great Britain

At 13 years old, Sky Brown is the youngest British athlete competing in the Olympics this year as skateboarding makes its Olympic debut. In 2019, Brown became the first female skateboarder to ever land a “frontside 540” in X Games history. She entered her first competition when she was just 7 years old and at 8 became the youngest girl to ever compete as a professional. A week before the Olympics began, she won gold in the Women’s Skateboard Park at the X Games. In 2018, Brown also became the first ever winner of “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.”

Watch when Brown could compete:

Monday, July 26

  • Women’s Street Preliminary Heats 1-4; TBD
  • Women’s Street Final, TBD

Wednesday, August 4

  • Women’s Park Preliminary Heats 1-4; TBD
  • Women’s Park Final, TBD

5. Simone Biles, Artistic Gymnastics, USA

At her final Olympics competition, Simone Biles is on the brink of making history. The 24-year-old four-time Olympic gold medalist hasn’t lost a gymnastics all-around competition in eight years, and is ranked number 1 in gymnastics by the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship. She became the first woman in 2016 to win four straight U.S. all-around titles in 42 years, according to USA Gymnastics. In preparation for the Games, Biles has teased fans with videos posted to social media showing her perform a dangerous move that no female gymnast has ever landed in competition. 

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If Biles wins two more medals in Tokyo, she’ll be tied for having the most Olympics gymnastics medals of all time. If she wins four medals, she’ll become the most decorated gymnast in history. 

Watch when Biles could compete:

Saturday, July 24

  • Women’s gymnastics qualification, 2 a.m.

Tuesday, July 27

  • Women’s gymnastics team final, 6:45 a.m.

Thursday, July 29

  • Women’s gymnastics individual all-around final, 6:40 a.m.

Sunday, August 1

  • Apparatus finals day 1; 4 a.m.

Monday, August 2

  • Apparatus finals day 2; 4 a.m.

Tuesday, August 3

  • Apparatus finals day 3; 4 a.m.

6. Gabriel Medina, Surfing, Brazil

Gabriel Medina, 27, is ranked number 1 in surfing by the World Surf League and has racked up more Championship Tour wins than any other competitor. In 2011, he was the youngest Brazilian surfer to be granted access to the World Surf League’s Championship Tour and has never lost at any Surf Ranch competition, according to the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee. Surfing is one of four sports debuting at the Olympics this year. 

Around The Games - Olympics: Day 1
TOPSHOT – Brazil’s Gabriel Medina rides a wave during a free training at the Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach, in Chiba, on July 23, 2021 during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

OLIVIER MORIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images


Watch when Medina could compete:

Saturday, July 24

Sunday, July 25

  • Men’s Round 2; 12:40 a.m.
  • Men’s Round 3; 10:45 p.m.

Monday, July 26

  • Men’s Quarterfinals, 6 p.m.
  • Men’s Semifinals, 10:45 p.m.

Tuesday, July 27

  • Men’s Bronze Medal Match, 7 p.m.
  • Men’s Gold Medal Match, 8:30 p.m.

7. JuVaughn Harrison, track and field USA

JuVaughn Harrison, 22, will be the first man in more than 100 years to compete in both the high and long jump at the Olympics, according to CBS Sports. The last male athlete to do so was Jim Thorpe in 1912. Thorpe was considered one of the greatest American athletes of the 20th century. Harrison is ranked second in the world for the long jump and won four NCAA titles this year in both the long and high jump, according to Louisiana State University, where he attends as a senior pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering.

Watch when Harrison could compete:

Thursday, July 29

  • Men’s High Jump Qualification, 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, July 31

  • Men’s Long Jump Qualification, 6:10 a.m.

Sunday, August 1

  • Men’s Long Jump Final, 9:20 p.m.
  • Men’s High Jump Final, 6:10 a.m.

8. Katie Ledecky, Swimming, USA

Five-time Olympic gold medalist and 15-time world championship gold medalist Katie Ledecky, 23, is in her third Olympic Games, where she could make even more history. She’s broken world records in the women’s 400-, 800-, and 1,500-meter freestyle and is the most decorated female swimmer in history, according to CBS Sports

Watch when Ledecky could compete:

Sunday, July 25

  • Women’s 400-meter freestyle heats, 7 a.m.
  • Women’s 400-meter freestyle finals, 10:20 p.m. — Ledecky wins silver medal

Monday, July 26

  • Women’s 200-meter freestyle heats, 6 a.m.
  • Women’s 200-meter freestyle semifinals, 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 27

  • Women’s 1,500-meter freestyle heats, 6:45 a.m.
  • Women’s 200-meter freestyle finals, 9:40 p.m.

Thursday, July 29

  • Women’s 800-meter freestyle heats, 6 a.m.

Friday, July 30

  • Women’s 800-meter freestyle finals, 9:45 p.m.

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