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How to Watch the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics and Everything Else to Know

Earn a gold medal in knowing when the Olympics starts and where to stream it

Dalene Rovenstine
The 2024 Olympics

The 2024 Olympics

Chesnot/Getty Images)

Although COVID-19 threw off the Olympics schedule a bit, we're officially back on track with the Summer 2024 Olympics, which will be opening on July 26 in Paris, France. 

Whether you're a fan of gymnastics, track and field, or basketball, or you simply like to watch the Opening Ceremony and keep up with medal counts, we've got everything you need to know about the 2024 Olympics. 

Keep reading to learn how to watch the 2024 Summer Olympics on cable or on streaming, what events will be live or will be aired in primetime, which athletes will be ones to watch, and more.

How to watch the 2024 Summer Olympics

NBCUniversal has the U.S. broadcasting rights for the Olympics, meaning you'll be able to watch the games on NBC, its cable network channels, and its streaming channel Peacock. Through the Peacock app, you'll be able to watch more than 500 hours of Olympics coverage, including all 329 medal events. While the biggest live events will be featured prominently on the streamer, you'll also be able to search by sport or athlete as well as see up-to-date medal standings and an interactive schedule with your own personalized preferences.

In addition to streaming offerings, NBC will air at least nine hours of daytime coverage each day. Because Paris is six hours ahead of the East Coast, morning and afternoon is when you're more likely to find live coverage. Each evening, NBC will air a three-hour primetime show featuring the best highlights from the day. (It's up to you to avoid spoilers online!)

Telemundo and Universo will air Spanish-speaking coverage of the Olympics. USA Network, E!, CNBC, and GOLF Channel will also cover the games, but details have not yet been provided by NBCUniversal.

Peacock will also air an eight-episode series called Olympic Highlights with Kevin Hart and Kenan Thompson. Two to three times per week, the two comedians will offer funny and timely insights highlighting the best parts of the games for sports fans.

How to watch the 2024 Summer Olympics from anywhere with a VPN

If you're abroad and don't want to miss out on the 2024 Summer Olympics, VPN services such as ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access can be a lifesaver. By masking your location, these VPNs let you access US streaming platforms from anywhere in the world. Private Internet Access plans start at just $2 per month, while ExpressVPN is currently offering a 49% discount on its yearly subscription.

What to know about the 2024 Summer Olympics

Here, we break down all your common questions about the Summer Games.

When do the Summer Olympics start?

The 2024 Summer Olympics, which are officially called the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad, will run from Friday, July 26 to Sunday, August 11. The Opening Ceremony will begin airing live on NBC and Peacock at 12 p.m. ET on July 26 with Spanish-language coverage following at 1 p.m. ET on Telemundo. It will re-air on NBC and Peacock during primetime at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Paralympics are scheduled to take place from Wednesday, August 28 to Wednesday, September 11.

Where will the 2024 Summer Olympics be held?

This year's Summer Olympics is being hosted in Paris, France — but because of the variety of sports being played and the number of athletes involved, it will stretch to other cities throughout France. Surfing is even held on an island in French Polynesia. But don't worry: You'll still see the Eiffel Tower and Paris' other famous sites in the background of featured segments. In fact, the Opening Ceremony will take place on The Seine river, rather than in a stadium.

Paris 2024 opening ceremony

Each Olympic Games officially commence with an opening ceremony. The host company prepares an artistic program followed by a Parade of Nations, where participating athletes enter the arena by country, and then the Olympic flame is lit. This year will be unlike any other as the ceremony will take place on the River Seine with athletes parading down it on a four-mile-long flotilla of nearly 100 boats. Thousands of spectators will be seated along the banks of the river watching the event on Friday, July 26. 

NBC will begin live coverage of the opening ceremony at 12 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock and 1 p.m. ET on Telemundo. Primetime coverage will begin at 7 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. 

Kelly Clarkson, Peyton Manning, and NBC Olympics primetime host Mike Tirico will join TODAY show veterans Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb to host the event.

Paris 2024 closing ceremony

The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games wraps up the events and symbolically passes the baton to the next host city, who typically hosts a small cultural presentation, and then the Olympic flame is extinguished. The Paris 2024 closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, August 11, at Stade de France, the country's national stadium. Los Angeles will be hosting the Summer Games in 2028, so it will have the opportunity to put on a preview.

NBC and Peacock will air live coverage of the closing ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. ET with primetime coverage at 7 p.m. ET. 

Jimmy Fallon and Olympics host Mike Tirico will host the closing ceremony while former Olympians Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski will serve as commentators.

What sports will be featured in the 2024 Olympics?

There are 32 sports in the Paris Olympics. Popular events include gymnastics, swimming, basketball, beach volleyball, diving, hockey, swimming, and track and field. Breakdancing will be making its Olympic debut in 2024; surfing, skateboarding, and sport climbing all debuted at the 2020 Summer Games and will return. 

Who will appear in the 2024 Olympics?

Because there are so many sports played at the Summer Games, there are a large number of athletes attending — or anticipating to attend — Paris 2024. Although some athletes have already clinched their spots on the U.S. Olympic Team, others are still only contenders. In total, there will be more than 500 athletes competing for the United States alone.

U.S. gymnasts at the 2024 Olympics

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics will be held June 27 to 30. After the Team Trials in June, five men and five women will be selected for the 2024 U.S. Team roster. 

One of the most notable athletes vying for a spot this year is Simone Biles. The most-decorated gymnast in history, Biles withdrew from the 2020 Games — even though she was favored to win gold in most of her categories. Gabby Douglass is also hoping to make an Olympic return, after eight years away from the sport. 

Other female athletes in the running are Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Jade Carey, all of whom were on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Team. New female faces to the Olympics (but certainly not to the sport) could include Shilese Jones, Leanne Wong, Tokyo alternate Kayla DiCello, Skye Blakely, and Joscelyn Roberson. 

On the men's side, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus, and Brody Malone from the 2020 men's team are hoping to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics, as are newcomers Fred Richard, a two-time world bronze medalist; Khoi Young, the most-decorated male gymnast at the 2024 worlds; and world bronze medalists Asher Hong and Paul Juda.

U.S. track & field athletes at 2024 Olympics

Track and field encompasses a wide variety of running events, such as the 200 meter, 400 meter, marathon, hurdles, and relays, as well as long jump, javelin throw, and pole vault. Because of this, there are a number of athletes to watch in this category. The majority of athletes will qualify at trials in Eugene, Oregon from June 21-30. 

Keep an eye on Sha'Carri Richardson, who was considered a medal contender for 2020 Tokyo but was disqualified after testing positive for marijuana. She won gold in the 100-meter dash at the 2023 world championships when she finished with the fifth fastest time ever for a woman. That win helped Richardson secure a spot on the U.S. Team for the 2024 Olympics.

U.S. basketball at 2024 Olympics

The U.S. men's basketball roster was announced on April 17 and includes four previous NBA MVP winners: Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Joel Embiid. Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, Jayson Tatum, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Edwards, and Tyrese Halliburton are among the others rounding out the squad.

As for the women's team, a group including Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Jewell Loyd, and Chelsea Gray began training camp in April, but USA Basketball has until July 7 to lock in the team. It seems likely that Taurasi would make the cut, but many are hoping that Iowa star Caitlin Clark could be added to the roster despite not being able to attend earlier trainings and being a WNBA rookie.

U.S. swimming and diving at 2024 Olympics

Team selections have not yet occurred for swimming or diving. Swimming will be held June 15-23 in Indianapolis, and diving will be June 16-23 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The most-decorated female swimmer, Katie Ledecky, is hoping to make the U.S. Team to swim in her fourth Olympics. Also hoping to return to the pool is Caeleb Dressel, who won five golds in 2020, earning him comparisons to Michael Phelps.

What do the Olympics rings mean?

First created in 1913, the Olympic rings represent the five inhabited continents that participate in the Games. (At the time, they considered the Americas one continent and Europe separate from Asia.) Interlocked together, the rings show the union experienced when athletes meet from around the world to compete. The colors, from left to right, are blue, yellow, black, green, and red. They do not correspond to a continent; instead, they combine all the colors of the flags from countries that were participating at the time it was created.

What is this year's Olympics mascot?

In more recent years, host countries have created a cute or clever mascot, and Paris 2024 hasn't let us down. It has selected the Phryges as Les Mascottes for Paris 2024. What is a Phyrges you ask? Well, it's inspired by a Phrygian cap, which is a popular hat in France's revolutionary history. Only this hat has legs and eyes — and France flag-shaped eyelashes. There is a whole tribe of Phyrges, some of which are proudly wearing a prosthetic or in a wheelchair for the Paralympics.

Get ready for the 2024 Summer Olympics

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