Even though the Olympic opening ceremony was just this morning, the long-awaited Tokyo Games are already riddled in controversy, emotional stories and outright strange occurrences.
With over 600 Team USA athletes, 27 of which have Austin ties, and dozens of stories from those whos dreams are finally realized, there's a lot to keep up with. Here's a few tips and tricks to get you started:
How to watch
Up to 44% of U.S. households no longer have cable, and the number is growing as more households cut the cord. Unfortunately, both the Olympics and NBC rely on ad revenue from cable channels as part of their business plan. So if you have full service, just grab your remote and go!
If not, here are a few ways you could access some competitions:
- If you're looking to go old-school, there's always the option of grabbing your grandma's old antenna or buying one yourself. With an antenna, which usually ranges in price from $10-40, you can get access to channels basic channels, including Olympics broadcaster NBC, while avoiding monthly fees. Check out tips and tricks to getting an antenna here.
- Peacock, NBC's streaming cousin, is acting as an off-brand version of the cable channel for Olympics coverage. The app will stream five hours of coverage daily, starting with a morning show by their own hosts and ending with events including women's gymnastics and track and field. Every event will be delayed by at least 24 hours, however, and you won't be able to rewind anything unless you have a $4.99 monthly subscription. With the subscription, you'll also have on-demand live access to U.S. men's basketball events.
- If these two don't work for you, head over to that really good friend of yours with cable. There's also always the tried-and-true trick of sharing cable usernames and passwords (you didn't hear this from us) or waiting for highlights to surface on social media or YouTube.
Austin watch parties
While many sports bars across Austin will be watching the world's games on the big screen, some are better suited than others for an immersive party experience. Here's a few suggestions we have for watching Team USA competitions:
- Haymaker Austin is the undisputed headquarters for American Outlaws, or fans of the U.S. men's and women's soccer teams. They've already slated out a watch party for Saturday's match vs. New Zealand and are expected to open early whenever needed to watch their favorite team play. Learn more about Saturday's early-morning watch party and upcoming drink specials here.
- Black Sheep Lodge, a sport's lover's paradise, played the Olympics all two weeks long back in 2016, and they're back with drink specials and constant streaming this go-round. Learn more here.
- Gibson Street Bar on South Lamar was another fan favorite in 2016 and features food from trailer Luke's Inside Out parked out front.
- Plucker's Wing Bar, with locations around Austin, told Austonia they would be playing the Olympics all two weeks long.
Day 1: July 23
- Opening ceremony- 6:55 a.m.
- Men's and Women's beach volleyball prelims- 8 p.m.
- Men's gymnastics qualification- 9 p.m.
- Softball opening round- 9 p.m.
- 3x3 Basketball men's and women's pool play- 9:15 p.m.
- Men's and women's swimming heats- 9 p.m.
Day 2: July 24
Team USA 🇺🇸 takes Game 2️⃣ of #TokyoOlympics with 1-0 shutout win over No. 3 Canada.— USA Softball Women's National Team 🇺🇸 (@USASoftballWNT) July 22, 2021
📰 RECAP » https://t.co/XQohdiuIs3
The 🔴⚪️🔵 return for Game 3️⃣ against No. 5 Mexico on Saturday, July 24 at 1:30 a.m. ET. pic.twitter.com/rpw7wqIFdK
Wake up bright and early—or hit record—to see San Marcos resident and UT alum Cat Osterman with Team USA as the softball team takes on border rival Mexico and Australia. Simone Biles and Co. will also make an appearance for the women's gymnastic competition, and swimming medal rounds for today include the women's 100m butterfly final, the men's 100m breaststroke final, the women's 400m freestyle final and the men's 4 x 100m freestyle relay final.
- Softball USA vs. Mexico- 1:30 a.m.
- Women's beach volleyball, USA vs. China- 8 p.m.
- Women's gymnastics qualification- 9 p.m.
- Softball USA vs. Australia- 9 p.m.
- Swimming finals- 9:30 p.m.
Day 3: July 25
Tell me you’re at the Olympics without telling me you’re at the Olympics 🤩🤩 pic.twitter.com/gYV4cRhtJ1— Krysta Palmer (@PalmerKrysta) July 19, 2021
Osterman will be back against Japan, men's basketball featuring Kevin Durant will have their debut vs. France after a rocky start and watch Austinite Alison Gibson go for the gold in the women's synchronized 3m diving competition.
- Women's diving 3m springboard- 1 a.m.
- Men's soccer group play-Brazil vs. Ivory Coast- 4:30 a.m.
- Men's and Women's fencing medal rounds- 6:50 a.m.
- Men's basketball preliminary round- USA vs. France - 8 a.m.
- Softball opening round - USA vs. Japan - 9 p.m.
Day 4: July 26
- Men's synchronized diving 10m platform final- 2 a.m.
- Men's gymnastics team final- 6 a.m.
- Women's volleyball vs. Argentina- 9:15 p.m.
- Swimming finals- Men's 200m freestyle, Women's 100m backstroke, Men's 100m backstroke, Women's 100m backstroke 9:30 p.m.
Day 5: July 27
Softball and Biles and crew go for the gold. Meanwhile, the women's basketball team, including UT alum Ariel Atkins, start their preliminary rounds, and Texas stars Remedy Rule and Erica Sullivan fight for the finals in swimming.
- Softball bronze medal game- 12 a.m.
- Women's basketball preliminary round-USA vs. Nigeria- 12:40 a.m.
- Women's gymnastics team final- 6:45 a.m.
- Softball gold medal game- 7 a.m.
- Swimming finals- Women's 200m butterfly, Men's 200m butterfly, Women's 1500m freestyle, Men's 4 x 200m freestyle relay 9:40 p.m.
- Men's and Women's cycling time trial medal rounds - 10:30 p.m.
Day 6: July 28
Men's basketball comes into play once again. Men's golf begins, including Venezuelan and Texas alum Johnnatan Vegas, and the U.S. women's water polo team gets their start.
- Men's basketball group play-USA vs. Iran- 12:40 a.m.
- Women's water polo-USA vs. Hungary-1 a.m.
- Men's gymnastics individual all-around final- 6:15 a.m.
- 3x3 basketball Men's and Women's medal matches- 7:45 a.m.
- Men's golf round one- 6:30 p.m.
- Swimming finals- Men's 800m freestyle, Men's 200m breaststroke, Women's 200m butterfly, Women's 4 x 200 freestyle relay - 9:30 p.m.
Day 7: July 29
Group play for women's gymnastics may be over, but individual work is where Biles truly shines. She'll be looking to make history today. Meanwhile, US women's volleyball, golf and men's water polo continue. Track and field begin, including the highly-contested women's 100m heats, which will feature Texas alum Teahna Daniels for Team USA.
- Men's water polo group play-USA vs. Italy- 1 a.m.
- Women's gymnastics individual all-around final- 6:40 a.m.
- Track and field heats-Women's 800m, Men's 400m hurdles, Women's 100m- 8:50 p.m.
- Swimming finals-Women's 200m breaststroke, Men's 200m backstroke, Women's 100m freestyle, Men's 200m individual medley- 9:30 p.m.
Day 8: July 30
- Men's beach volleyball-USA vs Italy- 8 a.m.
- Women's basketball-USA vs. Japan- 12:40 a.m.
- Women's soccer quarterfinals- 4 a.m.
- Baseball opening round- USA vs. Israel- 6:30 a.m.
- Swimming finals- Men's 100m butterfly, Women's 200m backstroke, Women's 800m freestyle, Mixed 100m medley- 9:30 p.m.
Day 9: July 31
Things begin heating up in track and field. The women's 100m-dash, men's discus and men's 4 x 400m mixed relay see their finals today, as do men's golf and several swimming events. Meanwhile, the men's soccer quarterfinals and women's rugby sevens finals begin today as men's boxing begins to wrap up.
- Trampoline final- 12:30 a.m
- Men's soccer quarterfinals- 4 a.m.
- Women's rugby sevens medal matches- 4:30 a.m.
- Track and field finals, Men's discus, 4x400m mixed relay, Women's 100m- 7:15 a.m.
- Men's basketball-USA vs. Czech Republic- 8 a.m.
- Men's golf final round- 6:30 p.m.
- Swimming finals-Men's 50m freestyle, Women's 50m freestyle, Men's 1500m freestyle, Women's 4 x 100m medley relay, Men's 4 x 100m medley relay- 9:30 p.m.
- Men's boxing semifinals - welterweight, light heavyweight- 11 p.m.
Day 10: August 1
Biles will attempt to perform the world's most dangerous vault- the Yurchenko double pike, which has never been successfully done at the Olympics- as part of several men's and women's individual gymnastics finals. Steffin McCarter, a former UT men's long jumper, could see the finals as track and field continues, and for some old-fashioned fun, check out the men's Greco-Roman wrestling semifinals.
- Gymnastics finals-Men's floor exercise, Women's vault, Men's pommel horse, Women's uneven bars- 4:30 a.m.
- Men's Greco-Roman wrestling semifinals- 5:15 a.m.
- Track and field finals-Men's high jump, Women's triple jump, Men's 100m- 6:10 a.m.
- Men's long jump, Women's 100m hurdles, Women's discus, Men's 3000m steeplechase, Women's 5000m- 9:20 p.m.
Day 11: August 2
Gold medal rounds for badminton come into play all day, the wrestling finals end, and Team USA (hopefully) enters the quarterfinals for men's basketball. UT alum Tara Davis looks to be in the finals for women's long jump.
- Badminton finals- 6 a.m, 12 p.m., 6:30 p.m.
- Gymnastics finals-Men's rings, Women's floor exercise, Men's vault- 4:15 a.m.
- Men's Greco-Roman wrestling semifinals and finals- 5:15 a.m.
- Men's basketball quarterfinals- 9 p.m.
- Track and field finals-Women's long jump, Men's 400m hurdles, Men's pole vault, Women's hammer throw, women's 200m- 9:50 p.m.
Day 12: August 3
Meet Adam Ondra. Adam is participating for the Czech Republic in the new Olympic sport of Sport Climbing— UNDRAFTED sports (@UndraftedMedia) July 15, 2021
Adam Started climbing at age 6; Seven-time World Cup gold medalist. He is frequently considered one of the best climbers in the world#sportclimbing #olympics @AdamOndraCZ pic.twitter.com/3XKphTyvjY
Cyclers go for a gold-medal finish, women's basketball reaches the quarterfinals and track and field stars push to new heights as the men's pole vault final begins. Sport Climbing makes its debut as an Olympic sport early in the morning.
- Sport climbing Olympic debut- 3 a.m.
- Gymnastics finals-Men's parallel bars, Women's balance beam, Men's horizontal bar- 4 a.m.
- Cycling finals-Women's team pursuit and Men's team sprint medal rounds- 4:15 a.m.
- Men's pole vault finals- 5:20 a.m.
- Women's basketball quarterfinals- 9 p.m.
- Track and field finals- Women's 400m hurdles, Men's hammer throw, Men's 800m, Men's 20m- 10:30 p.m.
Day 13- August 4
The equestrian's individual competition, making its debut in the Olympics this year and features Bruce Springsteen's daughter Jessica Springsteen on Team USA, comes to a close. The first baseball semifinal match is held, boxing semifinals continue, and men's weightlifting comes to an end.
- Boxing semifinals-Women's flyweight, Women's welterweight, Men's Super heavyweight- 1 a.m.
- Baseball semifinal # 1- 6 a.m.
- Equestrian jumping individual final- 6 a.m.
- Men's weightlifting (+109kg) final- 6:50 a.m.
- Track and field finals- Men's triple jump, Men's shot put, Women's pole vault, Men's 400m- 10 p.m.
Day 14: August 5
One of our 10 to watch in Tokyo, April Ross is hoping to bring home her first gold in beach volleyball. pic.twitter.com/PWAFq6U8To— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) July 22, 2021
The men's basketball semifinal begins as the baseball semifinals continue. Women's beach volleyball and women's soccer see their medal matches as the USWNT fights for redemption and another gold. Karate begins its medal matches.
- Karate semifinals, final- 5 a.m.
- Men's basketball semifinal #1- 12:15 a.m.
- Baseball semifinal- 6 a.m.
- Men's basketball semifinal- 7 a.m.
- Women's beach volleyball medal matches- 9 p.m., 10:30 p.m.
- Women's soccer gold medal match- 10 p.m.
Day 15: August 6
Updates from #Tokyo2020— RAF🇷🇼 (@RwandaAthletics) July 20, 2021
👱♀️ Marthe Yankurije
They entered the Olympic Village.
🗓 : On 30th July Marthe will compete in 5000m
🗓 :on 08/08 John will compete in Full Marathon
📽:@RwandaOlympic 👏 pic.twitter.com/NkTQMmIDKy
The men's basketball championship match is today, alongside the semifinal matches for women's basketball. Women's field hockey and men's beach volleyball host their gold medal matches. The longest-running (get it) sport in the Olympics, the marathon, takes place for the women's competition.
- Women's basketball semifinal #1- 12:40 a.m.
- Women's field hockey gold medal match- 6 a.m.
- Women's basketball semifinal #2- 7 a.m.
- Track and field finals- Women's Javelin, Men's 5000m, Women's 400m, Women's 4 x 100m relay, Men's 4 x 100 relay - 7:50 a.m.
- Women's marathon- 6 p.m.
- Women's golf final round- 6:30 p.m.
- Men's basketball gold medal game- 10:30 p.m.
Day 16: August 7
Behind every success, there are is a support system cheering you on. 💪@DiverJordan, 'Team Jordan' have a message for you. ❤️#StrongerTogether@TeamUSA | @USADiving | @fina1908 pic.twitter.com/78fctYCFpe— Olympics (@Olympics) July 23, 2021
UT alum Jordan Windle hopes to see himself in the finals for the high-flying 10m platform diving competition. Men's soccer, baseball, women's basketball and mixed boxing competitions see their gold medal finals today.
- Boxing finals- Men's flyweight, Women's flyweight, Men's middleweight, Women's welterweight - 1 a.m.
- Men's diving 10m platform final- 2 a.m.
- Men's baseball gold medal game- 6 a.m.
- Track and field finals-Women's high jump, Men's Javelin, Men's 1,500m, Women's 4 x 400m, Men's 4 x 400m- 6:35 a.m.
- Men's soccer gold medal match- 7:30 a.m.
- Men's marathon- 6 p.m.
- Women's basketball gold medal match- 10:30 p.m.
Day 17: August 8
The U.S. Women 🇺🇲 got their first look at Ariake Arena on Thursday. They will play their first Olympic match there on Sunday at 7:05 pm PT against Argentina. #GoUSA #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/B5sC1FWnpf— USA Volleyball (@usavolleyball) July 22, 2021
The OIympics are wrapping up! Catch a last-minute volleyball, boxing or men's water polo match before the closing ceremony begins at 7 a.m.
- Women's volleyball gold medal match- 12:30 a.m.
- Boxing finals- Women's lightweight, Men's lightweight, Women's middleweight, Men's super heavyweight- 1:30 a.m.
- Men's water polo gold medal match- 3:30 a.m
- 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics closing ceremony- 7 a.m.
For a full Olympic schedule, click here.
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Actor, director and screenwriter Justin Theroux isn't the only famous member of his family. His canine companion Kuma made waves online this past weekend supporting Austin Pets Alive!—and Jennifer Aniston is a fan.
Theroux launched Kuma's own Instagram account on Saturday with a link to Austin Pets Alive!'s website in her bio. And the grey pitbull mix is already garnering the kind of attention worthy of her movie star dad: As of Monday night, she has over 55,000 followers.
Chief among them is Jennifer Aniston, who posted a photo of Theroux and his newly online dog on her Instagram story yesterday with fond words for the Austin shelter.
"Love what these two are doing to help people who help pups who help people," the 'Friends' star, and Theroux's ex-wife, wrote. "They helped save 60 pups at Austin Pets Alive! yesterday."
Theroux began volunteering at the shelter while filming 'The Leftovers' in Austin when he fell in love with the shelter's pitbulls, according to Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Austin Pets Alive! president and CEO.
"We are thrilled that he and Kuma are spreading the word about the work APA! is doing and the need to keep Austin no-kill," she said, referring to the shelter's commitment to save animals most at risk for euthenasia.
Theroux adopted his mut in 2018 after Kuma was rescued—dirty and injured—from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey by A Chance to Bloom Dog Rescue, based in Conroe, Texas.
While Kuma is not from APA!, Theroux connected with the Conroe-based non-profit while visiting the Austin shelter, and he has remained "an enthusiastic supporter" ever since, Jefferson said.
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Six days a week, thousands of onlookers tune in to live streams to watch the pros rake it all in at high-stakes poker tournaments. The big-name poker players aren't in Las Vegas or even Oklahoma's finest casinos—instead, they're where Texas Hold 'Em gets its name.
Gambling may be illegal in Texas, but over a hundred poker houses are using a loophole to open up shop across the state, especially in Austin and Dallas.
The classic poker game is finally getting played for real cash around the Lone Star State thanks to an exception in Texas' gambling ban that allows poker games to be played in private residences. Instead of taking a cut from the pot like traditional gambling ventures, private poker houses don't make money from the results of a game; instead, they get their revenue from membership and hourly fees.
It's a business strategy that's gone (mostly) unchallenged by Texas politicians, especially as the industry begins to heat up.
Austin may now have around 20 poker houses around town, but it wasn't long ago that one stood alone like a small town saloon. The city's premiere poker house, Texas Card House, was founded in 2015 and has since grown to include a YouTube channel with over 30,000 subscribers, a wide range of gameplay and regular visits from big-name poker gurus like Brad Owen and Doug Pope.
David Lagana, a content creator who has worked in college sports and Hollywood, was brought into the scene in May as the house's live streams began to blow up. He said the live streaming battleground is only beginning.
"The space is ever-growing," Lagana said. "It's been interesting to try and find a lane that everybody can succeed. It's all about finding something that people want to watch on a nightly basis."
Can Player BLUFF Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen on LIVE Stream?
Watch now - https://t.co/4Wt4s5Z0V7@TheBradOwen @andrewneeme pic.twitter.com/Yg4R0c0sj2
— Texas Card House (@texascardhouse) August 25, 2021
Carolyn Hapgood, who has worked for Texas Card House for three years, has made a name for herself as a live stream producer, dealer and player herself with the company. She's seen Texas Card House grow from a two-room card house to the most well-known poker venue in Austin with another branch in Dallas.
"It was a teeny tiny little house with five tables, and that was the first legal card house in the state," Hapgood said. "And since then it's blown up."
Texas Card House dealer Carolyn Hapgood has been working with Austin's premier poker house since 2018. (Texas Poker House Austin/Facebook)
From $100 pots to buy-ins of $15,000 or more, Texas Card House has it all, especially as in-state players learn more about the game. Hapgood said there isn't really a typical poker player at the house—instead, the poker table forms an "interesting little ecosystem" that includes college students, a 93-year old Vietnam War veteran, online gamblers, old-school players and everyone in between. The diversity at the table has been enhanced even further by COVID as people clamor to return to in-person events.
But Texas Card House no longer holds a "royal flush" in Austin's poker culture. The Lodge, based in Round Rock, is now expanding to over 60 tables, the largest in Texas, while Palms Social Club, owned by Texas Card Houses' original owner Sam Von Kennel, brought service staff and a refined atmosphere to the Austin scene.
Hapgood said the base of poker players is very large and continues to grow, forming a community as players form friendships on and off the table.
"My favorite part of the poker community is how much fun we have," Hapgood said. "You sit at a table with eight of your friends, everyone's kind of just having a good time. There's a lot of players who will, you know, call or text each other after they're done playing, and they end up inviting each other barbecues, and going out to dinner with their families and stuff like that... those are my favorite people to hang out with."
Getting involved in the poker scene is as easy as tuning into a live stream, and Lagana hopes to see more outsiders like himself get inspired by poker in the future.
"It's kind of like life," Lagana said. "Life isn't just one hand to play... you're only in control of sort of what's in your hand (and) you can't play the card that you weren't dealt with. So it's really been a fascinating life lesson for me."
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From four-time Grammy-nominee turned big-screen actor, Black Pumas frontman Eric Burton will debut in the sci-fi short film "Devexity," which is written, directed by and stars Austinites.
The film, brought to life by Austin-based filmmaker Luke Lidell, will premiere on Oct. 7 at the Native Hostel while Burton is in town for Austin City Limits Fest. Then, "Devexity" will head off to film festival screenings, according to a report by The Austin Chronicle.
Following Burton as the film's protagonist, named Jean, "Devexity" takes place across several different settings and surfaces an existential response from the watcher. Burton stars alongside fellow Austinites Ali Pentecost, Dominique Pitts and New Yorker Madison Murrah in the partially black-and-white film.
The film was shot over the course of four days in October 2020, which Lidell said was a challenge of "focus" and "trust" to create. With a variety of scenes and intertwining narratives, the film dives into the topic of virtual reality.
A musician in addition to a filmmaker, Lidell previously directed the film "Telekinetic" in 2018. The script for "Devexity" was written by Lidell with Burton in mind for the lead after meeting him during a music video project in 2017—Lidell said Burton helped him shape the characters along the way.
Now that the door has been opened for work between Burton and Lidell, you're likely to see the pair collaborate again—a Black Pumas documentary is being rumored.
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