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What to watch Friday night, Saturday morning at the Tokyo Olympics

Each day of the Tokyo Games, NBC Olympics will provide a rundown of the biggest athletes and the biggest events to watch across a variety of sports. Every single event can be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, and many can also be seen on the television networks of NBC. For even more events, visit the Olympic schedule page to find listings for specific sports or TV networks.

After a day of celebration and ceremony, the Olympics open with a packed slate of competition, where the first medal of the Games is on the line in women’s air rifle, the U.S. women’s soccer team looks to get their first win of the Games, basketball 3×3 makes its Olympic debut and swimming gets underway with preliminary heats.

Here are the big events, listed in chronological order, to follow on the first full day of competition at the Tokyo Games.

PRIMETIME ON NBC

Celebrate the official start of the Tokyo Olympic Games by watching NBC’s Primetime broadcast of the Opening Ceremony. This broadcast will include special coverage of Team USA and athlete interviews not seen in the live show that was aired on Friday morning.

Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony

  • Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Live Stream: Watch

MEN’S GYMNASTICS

Gymnastics competition opens up with men’s qualifying on Saturday. This qualifying session will set the field for the team final, all-around final and event finals.

For qualifying, athletes have been split into three different subdivisions, and the U.S. gymnasts — Brody Malone, Sam Mikulak, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus and Alec Yoder — are part of the third and final group. Their subdivision starts at 6:30 a.m. ET, and in addition to the primary coverage of qualifying, the option of a special Team USA Tracker will also be available for viewers.

Subdivision 1

  • Start Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • Live Streams: Watch

Subdivision 2

  • Start Time: 1:30 a.m. ET
  • Live Streams: Watch

Subdivision 3(includes the United States)

  • Start Time: 6:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: Peacock
  • Live Streams:

SHOOTING

The first medal of the Tokyo Games is at stake in the women’s air rifle final (9:45 p.m. ET). American Ginny Thrasher, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist, did not qualify to compete in Tokyo, but the U.S. once again has a gold medal contender in the form of 20-year-old Mary Tucker. The Florida native is ranked No. 2 in the world in the discipline.

Later on, the men will have their first medal event with the air pistol final. South Korea’s Jin Jong-Oh, who won gold in this event at the 2012 London Games, is seeking a seventh Olympic medal. It would make him the most decorated South Korean Olympian in any sport.

Women’s Air Rifle Final

  • Start Time: 9:45 p.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

Men’s Air Pistol Final

  • Start Time: 2:30 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

ROAD CYCLING

Fresh off winning his second-straight Tour de France title, 22-year-old Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogacar is looking to add Olympic gold to his collection in the men’s road race. Also in the field is Belgium’s Wout van Aert, who impressed by winning three stages (including the final one) during the Tour. The question is: After three intense weeks of racing in France, how will they fare in Tokyo with such a quick turnaround?

The course in Tokyo will take racers through the slopes of Mount Fuji.

Men’s Road Race

  • Start Time: 10 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA
  • Live Stream: Watch

WEIGHTLIFTING

The first weightlifting medal is awarded in the women’s 49kg competition, which concludes with Group A lifters at 11:50 p.m. ET. Jourdan Delacruz holds the American record (200.0 kg total lift) in this weight class and is ranked third among the Olympic entrants, giving the U.S. a solid medal hopeful in this event.

Women’s 49kgGroup A

  • Start Time: 11:50 p.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

WOMEN’S WATER POLO

Team USA begins its quest for a third consecutive Olympic title with a group-stage match against host nation Japan. The Americans — who have also won the last three World Championships, the last three World Cups and the last seven World League Super Finals — are the heavy favorites in the tournament.

The U.S. attack is led by Maggie Steffens and Maddie Musselman, and Ashleigh Johnson provides a veteran presence in goal. Steffens (17 goals) led the team in scoring at the last Olympics.

United States vs. Japan

  • Start Time: 1 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

ARCHERY

Archery at the Tokyo Games begins from Yumenoshima Park Archery Field with the Olympic debut of the mixed team event. In this event, pairs of one man and one woman from each country will compete in head-to-head matches in a single-elimination bracket.

Qualifying was determined by Friday’s individual ranking rounds, and Team USA enters as the No. 2 seed. Brady Ellison (second in men’s qualifying) and Mackenzie Brown (fifth in women’s qualifying) form the U.S. duo and have medal-winning potential.

Mixed Team EventQuarterfinals, Semifinals, Finals

  • Start Time: 1:15 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN (starts 3:30 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch

SOFTBALL

The United States and Japan remain unbeaten through the first two days of round-robin play, and both teams can move another step closer to qualifying for the final by winning Saturday’s matches. The United States plays continental rival Mexico, who sits at the bottom of the standings at 0-2 but nearly pulled off an upset against Japan on Thursday. Meanwhile, Japan faces Italy, the tournament’s other winless team.

United States vs. Mexico

  • Start Time: 1:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN (starts 2:10 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch

Japan vs. Italy

  • Start Time: 7 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

JUDO

Judo was born in Japan and remains extremely popular there. It’s also the country’s best Olympic sport, as Japanese athletes have won more gold medals in judo (39) than in any other sport, and no country has won more judo medals than Japan.

There’s a good chance that the host nation’s first gold medal of these Olympics comes from judo on Day 1. Japanese judokas Tonaki Funa (women’s 48kg) and Takato Naohisa (men’s 60kg) are legitimate gold medal contenders in the sport’s opening-day weight classes.

Women’s 48kg Semis/FinalMen’s 60kg Semis/Final

  • Start Time: 4 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

WOMEN’S SOCCER

The U.S. Women’s National Team is back in action with a match against New Zealand at Saitama Stadium. Expect the American women to come back in full force as they try to right the ship from a shutout loss to Sweden just a few days ago. That loss was the U.S. team’s first in two and a half years, but they’ll look to start a new streak against a squad of Kiwis that struggled against Australia in Group G play during a 2-1 loss on Wednesday.

The rest of Saturday’s schedule is loaded with intriguing matchups as the top two teams in each group face off head-to-head.

In Group G, Sweden will be flying high as they head into a matchup with an Australia team led by Sam Kerr, and in Group E, Great Britain can clinch their spot in the knockout round with a win over second-place Japan.

One of the day’s biggest matchups, though, will be a Group F showdown between the Netherlands and Brazil. Both teams are coming off monster performances from the opening matchday. Vivianne Miedema scored four goals in the Dutch squad’s 10-3 takedown of Zambia, and Marta netted two goals to lead the Brazilians to a big 5-0 win over China.

To find the times and stream links for all of Matchday 2, visit the soccer schedule page.

Sweden vs. Australia

  • Start Time: 4:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

Japan vs. Great Britain

  • Start Time: 6:30 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

Netherlands vs. Brazil

  • Start Time: 7 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

United States vs. New Zealand

  • Start Time: 7:30 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBCSN
  • Live Stream: Watch

BASKETBALL 3X3

Basketball 3×3 makes its Olympic debut on the first day of the Tokyo Games. The faster-paced, half-court game features a different set of rules than the traditional 5-on-5 game, though many of the fundamentals are similar.

The U.S. men surprisingly did not qualify for Tokyo, but the women will be the gold-medal favorite. The team experienced a last-minute shakeup this week when Katie Lou Samuelson had to be replaced by Jackie Gray after a positive COVID test. Gray joins three other WNBA players — Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray and Kelsey Plum — in forming the American roster.

United States vs. France (W)

  • Start Time: 4:55am ET
  • Live Stream: Link

United States vs. Mongolia (W)

  • Start Time: 8am ET
  • Live Stream: Link

FENCING

The first fencing medals will come in women’s individual epee and men’s individual sabre. Eli Dershwitz, a 25-year-old from Massachusetts, is a medal favorite and could contend for gold. He’s currently ranked No. 2 in the world in men’s sabre and won a silver medal at the 2018 World Championships.

Standing in his way are Hungary’s Aron Szilagyi and South Korea’s Oh Sang-Uk. Szilagyi is the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist in men’s sabre and could become the first male fencer ever to win three gold medals in the same individual event. Oh is the reigning world champion and is considered the gold medal favorite.

Women’s Epee Semis/FinalMen’s Sabre Semis/Final

  • Start Time: 5 a.m. ET
  • Live Stream: Watch

SWIMMING

Six events will hold prelims during the first swimming session of the Tokyo Games. Among the prominent Americans in action: 2016 silver medalist Chase Kalisz (men’s 400m IM), 18-year-old Torri Huske (women’s 100m fly) and American record holder Michael Andrew (men’s 100m breast). For Andrew, who broke the American record twice during the course of Olympic Trials, the 100m breaststroke will be the first of at least three events he competes in.

Men’s 400m IM HeatsWomen’s 100m Butterfly HeatsMen’s 400m Freestyle HeatsWomen’s 400m IM HeatsMen’s 100m Breaststroke HeatsWomen’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay Heats

  • Start Time: 6 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA
  • Live Stream: Watch

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena open their Olympic men’s beach volleyball campaign with a Pool D preliminary matchup against Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands. Dalhausser, the 2008 beach volleyball gold medalist, enters his fourth Olympics. The two were also paired at the Rio Games but lost in the quarterfinals. The duo from the Netherlands make their second Olympic appearance after winning bronze in Rio.

Lucena/Dalhausser (USA) vs. Brouwer/Meeuwsen (NED)

  • Start Time: 8 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: USA (starts at 8:30 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch

MEN’S VOLLEYBALL

Five years after winning a bronze medal in Rio, the U.S. men begin the volleyball tournament with a preliminary-round match against France. The team returns eight athletes from the Rio team, including David Smith and Matt Anderson, who will make their third appearance. Due to COVID, the major players in men’s volleyball have had very few international competitions to play in, but the U.S. enters the Games ranked No. 5 in the world. France, ranked No. 4, is seeking its first men’s volleyball medal ever.

United States vs. France

  • Start Time: 8:45 a.m. ET
  • TV Channel: NBC (starts at 9 a.m. ET)
  • Live Stream: Watch

TENNIS

With three Grand Slam titles already under his belt this year, Novak Djokovic is in contention for a Calendar Golden Slam (all four Grand Slams plus an Olympic title), something that no male tennis player has ever accomplished. All that’s left are the Tokyo Olympics and U.S. Open. The Serbian star begins his bid for a first gold medal against Bolivia’s Hugo Dellien on Day 1 of the Olympic singles tournament.

To find the stream links for a specific court or a specific match, visit the tennis schedule page. Tennis will also be featured in Olympic Channel’s daily TV coverage.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Hugo Dellien (BOL)Men’s Singles Round 1

  • Start Time: 4th match on Center Court
  • Live Stream: Watch
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Minnesota wildfire doubles in size, creates its own weather

A wildfire in northeastern Minnesota more than doubled in size Tuesday, growing to more than 19,000 acres, after it produced pyrocumulous clouds that generated lightning and even raindrops, fire officials said.

The Greenwood Fire’s growth, most of which happened Monday afternoon, prompted firefighters to leave McDougal Lake, about 80 miles south-southwest of Duluth, officials said. Authorities fear that structures might have been destroyed or damaged.

“We had crews embedded, and as this fire took off, it was quite an effort to communicate with forces on the ground so they could get out,” said federal fire incident spokesman Clark McCreedy.

The pullout was a success, and no injuries were reported. However, downed trees and necessary cleanup mean crews have been unable to assess damage around the lake, McCreedy said.

In addition to the firefighter pullout, 159 dwellings were evacuated Monday, according to an update from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Cabins, homes and recreational sites remain under threat, the group said.

Patrick Prochaska, a Minneapolis resident who built a cabin near McDougal Lake in 2012, told NBC affiliate KARE that he watched via security camera as flames mostly bypassed his property Monday, causing minor damage.

“I was feeling very scared,” he said. “At the same time, I could see that it was not doing anything to the house, and it was kind of reassuring.”

The fire in and north of Superior National Forest has mostly performed according to the weather, fire officials said. On Monday, with dry fuel on the ground and temperatures in the high 80s, it was an expanding inferno punctuated by strobes of lightning.

“The winds were drawn into the fire from all directions,” the incident’s fire behavior analyst, Michael Locke, said in a video update Tuesday. “It created what we call pyrocumulous clouds. And really high in the atmosphere … you’d see a thunderstorm, and in fact they went high enough to produce a few sprinkles of rain and even some lightning.”

Temperatures dipped into the mid-70s Tuesday, and the blaze mellowed. “The real story was cloud cover and cooler temperatures,” McCreedy said.

More of the same, and possibly rain, was in the forecast, giving officials hope that they might be able to close the book on an unusually active and dry fire season in Minnesota.

Experts have said climate change has set the stage for extreme weather, including an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires in the Northern Hemisphere.

Firefighters — 426 were assigned to the Greenwood event — have been confronted with “prolonged, severe drought,” making parts of Minnesota look like the fire-prone West this summer, McCreedy said.

The Greenwood Fire, which was detected Aug. 15, is believed to have been sparked by lightning.

So far, firefighters have scored no containment, and areas including McDougal Lake, Sand Lake and the Highway 2 corridor have been under mandatory evacuation orders. The federal Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was closed Saturday “due to active and increasing fire activity, extreme drought, limited resources,” the National Forest Service said in a notice.

Officials set a goal of Sept. 1 for full containment.

“We’re probably going to get more of that moderating weather for the rest of the week,” McCreedy said. “That opens the door for fire crews to make progress on the ground.”

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Hiker survives grizzly bear attack at Denali National Park

A tourist from Indiana was attacked and injured by a grizzly bear at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska on Monday night, park officials said.

The 55-year-old tourist, whose name was not released, was hiking alone in dense fog in the Thoroughfare Pass area when a mother bear and multiple cubs charged him from nearby bushes, the National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday.

He had puncture wounds to a calf, his left ribs and his left shoulder, the agency said.

The victim used bear spray that might have cut the attack short, the park service indicated. He walked 1.5 miles to a visitor’s center where “medical personnel” vacationing at Denali treated him as a park bus driver called 911, it said.

The hiker was taken to a medical center near the park before he was transferred to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, about 120 miles away, park officials said. He was stabilized at the Fairbanks hospital, they said.

“Due to the apparent defensive nature of this attack, there are no plans to locate the bear involved,” the park service said. “Female bears with cubs are naturally defensive of their young, especially when surprised. There is no indication that this bear is unusually dangerous.”

Grizzly bears are federally protected as a threatened species in the lower 48 states. According to the National Wildlife Federation, fewer than 1,500 grizzlies are left in the lower 48, but they thrive, comparatively, in Alaska, where they have a population of about 31,000.

The backcountry area of the attack is closed for one week as a precaution, the park service said.

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House passes John Lewis voting rights bill, sends measure to Senate for tougher fight

House Democrats on Tuesday passed a sweeping voting rights bill named after Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the late civil rights icon.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act was approved 219-212. All Republicans voted against the legislation.

The bill is part of congressional Democrats’ broader campaign to strengthen voting laws at the federal level to fight restrictive voting laws passed in Republican-led states, such as Texas and Georgia. However, it faces steep opposition in the Senate, where Democrats hold a wafer-thin majority.

The House returned from its recess this week to take up the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a resolution for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget package, which includes funding for much of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. The procedural motion used to pass the multitrillion-dollar resolution paved the way for the House to vote on the voting rights bill, which was re-introduced last week by Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.

The legislation would require states with recent histories of discrimination to get federal “preclearance” to change their voting laws, which directly addresses the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder. The ruling gutted the preclearance system in the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which civil rights advocates argue was successful in blocking proposed voting restrictions in states and localities with histories of racial discrimination.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement last week that Congress had “not only an ironclad Constitutional mandate, but a moral responsibility” to pass the bill.

Shortly before its passage, Pelosi said on the House floor that the bill would honor Lewis’ legacy.

“We should have the right to vote and shouldn’t be diminished by anyone. It is unpatriotic to undermine the ability of people who have a right to vote, who have access to the polls,” she said. “As John knew, this precious pillar of our democracy is under attack from one of the worst voter suppression campaigns since Jim Crow.”

It isn’t the first time House Democrats have tackled election law. In March, House Democrats passed the For the People Act, a sweeping bill that seeks to change campaign finance, voting and ethics laws.

The bill would expand access to the ballot box by creating automatic voter registration across the country by registering eligible voters whenever they interact with government agencies, restoring the voting rights of the formerly incarcerated, expanding early voting and modernizing the country’s voting systems.

However, Senate Republicans filibustered the voting rights legislation in June, and the vote to advance an amended version of the For the People Act split along party lines 50-50, short of the 60 votes needed. All Democratic-aligned senators voted to begin debate, and Republicans unanimously voted to block the bill.

Passage of the voting measure was the final vote of the week for the House, whose members are leaving Washington and won’t return until Sept. 20.

Haley Talbot contributed.

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