TOKYO (KXAN) — While the opening ceremony for the year-delayed Tokyo Olympics airs live Friday at 5:55 a.m. on KXAN, two sports will open competition before the Games officially kick off.
Led by former Texas Longhorn All-American pitcher Cat Osterman, United States softball takes on Italy in a first-round game that will air live at 10 p.m. CDT Tuesday on the NBC Sports Network. Osterman resigned from her coaching post with Texas State University in 2019 to prepare for the tournament, and she’s poised to help pitch the Stars and Stripes to Olympic glory once again.
Softball has been out of the Olympics since the Beijing Games in 2008 and was added back to the program via a provision that allows host nations to add sports. Japan won the 2008 gold medal by knocking off the U.S. in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. The United States is the No. 1-ranked team in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, followed by hosts Japan at No. 2. Japan takes on Australia at 7 p.m. before the U.S.-Italy matchup.
The games will be held in Fukushima, about 155 miles north of Tokyo.
On Wednesday, soccer takes the pitch with the U.S. Women’s National Team rekindling a rivalry of sorts with Sweden, the squad that took out the Americans on penalty kicks in the 2016 Games. No longer part of the team, 2016 U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo called the Swedes “a bunch of cowards,” after they changed their style to play extremely defensive against the potent U.S. attack.
With a gold medal, the U.S. would be the first team to follow up a World Cup title with an Olympic title. Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan are set to lead the team when they kick off bright and early at 3:30 a.m. on the USA Network.
The men’s soccer tournament gets going Thursday with a rematch of the 2016 final, Brazil versus Germany. That match kicks off at 6:30 a.m. on the USA Network.
How to watch
U.S. vs. Italy
When: Tuesday at 10 p.m. CDT
Where: NBC Sports Network | Watch on livestream
Women’s Olympic soccer
U.S. vs. Sweden
When: Wednesday at 3:30 a.m. CDT
Where: USA Network
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