How to Watch Olympic Swimming: Tokyo Schedule, Live Stream, More

US Swimming

How to Watch Olympic Swimming: Tokyo Schedule, Live Stream, More

Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel headline the U.S. swimming team in 2021

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One of the most anticipated events during the Tokyo Olympics is men’s and women’s swimming. 

The United States has a number of representatives who are expected to compete for gold, including Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel. The U.S. dominated the pool in 2016, securing 16 out of a possible 35 gold medals, ending the Games with 33 total medals from swimming events, the most out of any country. 

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Here is the schedule, streaming information and more heading into the swimming competitions in Tokyo:

What is the TV schedule for swimming at the Tokyo Olympics?

All swimming events at the Tokyo Olympics will be aired on NBC and NBC-affiliated channels, including NBCSN, the Olympic Channel and Peacock. Below is the full event and streaming information for each day of competition for swimming. 

  • Swimming Session 1, Heats: Saturday, July 24, 6 a.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 2, Heats: Saturday, July 24, 9:30 p.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 3, Heats: Sunday, July 25, 6 a.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 4, Finals: Sunday, July 25, 9:30 p.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 5, Heats: Monday, July 26, 6 a.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 6, Finals: Monday, July 26, 9:30 p.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 7, Heats: Tuesday, July 27, 6 a.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 8, Finals: Tuesday, July 27, 9:30 p.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 9, Heats: Wednesday, July 28, 6 a.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 10, Finals: Wednesday, July 28, 9:30 p.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 11, Heats: Thursday, July 29, 6 a.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 12, Finals: Thursday, July 29, 9:30 p.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 13, Heats: Friday, July 30, 6 a.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 14, Finals: Friday, July 30, 9:30 ap.m. ET (Stream)
  • Swimming Session 15, Finals: Saturday, July 31, 9:30 p.m. ET (Stream)

You can get more info on local TV channels and times for Olympic swimming through NBC Olympics’ full viewing schedule.

The U.S. Swim Team has had decades of dominance at the Olympics, and some of the most decorated swimmers in history tell us exactly how it’s done.

Who is on the USA swim team at the Tokyo Olympics?

Headlining the 53-swimmer Team USA roster that is heading to Tokyo is Katie Ledecky, the five-time gold medalist. The 24-year-old took the Olympic world by storm, winning the 800m freestyle at the 2012 Olympics as a 15-year-old. 

She followed that up with a dominant performance in 2016, with four gold medals and a silver, finishing tied for the most decorated athlete at those Olympics. In Tokyo, she will be competing in the 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle and 1500m freestyle, in addition to being a part of the 4x200m relay team.  

Caeleb Dressel is another swimmer who should be competing for a number of golds. Coming into his second Olympics, Dressel was a part of the 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay that each won gold in 2016. He is expected to be the favorite for gold in the 100m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 100m individual medley. 

After unexpectedly failing to qualify in the 100m freestyle, Simone Manuel won the 50m freestyle at the U.S. trials to seal her spot on the Olympic team. In Rio, she became the first Black female swimmer to win an individual gold medal, taking home gold in the 100m freestyle. She also won gold in the 4x100m medley and silver in the 4x100m freestyle and 50m freestyle. Manuel will try for her second individual gold medal in Tokyo. 

Lilly King will also try to defend her gold medal in the 100m breaststroke, as well as Ryan Murphy in the 100 and 200m backstroke and the 400m medley. Hali Flickinger is one of the favorites in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley in her first Olympics. 

You can find the full roster for the U.S. swim team here

"Get that kid out of there!" is what the swimmer remembers hearing.

Who are the best swimmers at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021?

On the men’s side, there are a few names to look out for, one being Great Britain’s Adam Peaty. He won the 100m breaststroke at the 2016 Olympics by setting a new world record at 56.88 seconds. Hungary’s Kristof Milak is the clear frontrunner to win the 200m butterfly, an event in which he broke Michael Phelps’ record at the 2019 World Championships. Japan’s Daiya Seto is expected to contend with Milak in the 200m butterfly, and is also a favorite for gold in both the 200 and 400m individual medley. 

For the women, no one is as big of a threat as Australia, with some of the top swimmers who are expected to be medal favorites across many events. Ariarne Titmus will challenge Ledecky for gold in the 200 and 400m freestyle, and Kaylee McKeown is the gold favorite in both the 100 and 200m backstroke. Emma McKeon is a medal favorite in four individual events and also will participate in the four relays, making her a potential threat to break Kristen Otto’s record set in 1988 for most medals at one Olympics by a female swimmer (six). And veteran Cate Campbell, competing in her fourth Olympics, is still vying for her first individual gold, as she competes in the 50 and 100m freestyle.

Annie Lazor’s biggest rival is usually swimming in the lane next to her most days, and it is hard to handle that rivalry on the best of days. But it has been on Lazor’s worst days over the last two months that the outlandish Lilly King has gone from rival to trusted friend.

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