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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This Black Friday, T-Pain and Normani want you to shop at Black Pearl Books on Burnet Road.
A mini-film showing Atlanta-based singer Tanerélle taking an elevator to “Black-owned shops near me,” highlights dozens of stores all over the country, and Austin shop Black Pearl Books made the list. The film came about through a partnership between Google and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. to reimagine Black Friday as “Black-owned Friday," a day to search, shop and support Black-owned businesses. And what better way to send the message than with a new upbeat track by T-Pain featuring Normani.
Google presents the #BlackOwnedFriday film feat. T-Pain and Normani youtu.be
Black Pearl Books, which celebrated its one-year store anniversary just last week, is offering deals through Monday. For in-store shopping, purchases are buy-one get-one 50% and free shipping on all purchases over $30 for online orders.
Black Pearl mentions that the meaning behind the name is in reference to a mysterious rare gemstone symbolizing independence, strength, wisdom, wealth, prosperity, love and hope. The store offers physical books as well as audiobooks, eBooks, and merchandise like t-shirts and stickers. And if you like a signed copy of a book, they may have that as well.
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In this season of gifts, giving, and gratitude, Tito's is making it easy to shop for your friends and loved ones while helping our community.
The beloved Austin company's Love, Tito's retail space, downtown at 215 Lavaca Street, is fully stocked with great gear. 100% of net proceeds of whatever you purchase—a new collar for your four-legged friend, a Tito's tee, some branded barware—go to the nonprofits they support. From the environment to animal rescue, you can choose your cause while choosing a new copper cocktail kit… or old school cap… or golf polo.
The store is stocked with stuff that the online experience just can't offer: never-before-seen swag, doggy photo booths (to say it's a dog-friendly space is an understatement), a record player to spin some tunes, and a bar finder listing local spots serving mean Tito's cocktails. Locals and out-of-town visitors alike can enjoy wonderful distractions while kicking back in an environment designed to cater to Tito's fans.
While you can't enjoy a cocktail there due to Texas liquor laws, the store offers unique experiences for any and all fans of the brand, and gives folks a chance to find what resonates with them while taking home a piece of the Tito's story.
*At our Love, Tito's store in Austin, net proceeds constitute an average margin of at least 25% of the retail price of a product, excluding the cost of tax on the purchase. We are not deducting cost of our people, the store rent or other operating costs.
NFTs, which are essentially unhackable codes used as one-of-a-kind "certificates of authenticity" paid for with cryptocurrency Ethereum, have been cropping up in the Austin art scene and worldwide—and they're quickly evolving into a sports fans' paradise as a new way to snag some bragging rights through digital trading cards, tickets and highlight reels.
Here are five Austin-based athletes and sports venues now involved in NFTs:
NiftyHorns—emerging Texas NFT producer
🚨🤘🏽Player Announcement!— Nifty Horns (@NiftyHorns) September 24, 2021
First up to the plate - a man who capped a scorching spring with postseason heroics in Omaha - from El Paso, TX…
Ivan Melendez! @ivanmelendez17_
NFT trading cards for the Hispanic Titanic will be available this fall as part of our first pack drop. pic.twitter.com/2xI3aMd6Tv
College sports' entrance to NFTs originally came from another Austin—a picture of Stephen F. Austin's women's basketball team as they made their first NCAA championship berth was the first to break into the market in March 2020.
Now with NCAA NIL rules in their favor, it's easier than ever for Texas athletes to cash in on their clout. The University of Texas' LEVERAGE Lineup looks to serve as a database to connect even walk-on Longhorn athletes—like Surly Horn's "Burnt Ends" tight ends deal—to lucrative sponsorship contracts.
But there hasn't yet been a database that gives each player their own Robinson-esque NFT trading card—until NiftyHorns stepped in with an NFT business model that they hope to one day have officially linked to the school.
They've already made headway with an NFT for Longhorns baseball player Ivan Melendez using the same blockchain utilized by TopShot.
"(We want to) not make it exclusive to star players or just the big three sports," NiftyHorns co-founder Josh Pitel said. "We feel very fortunate to be in a space where the fan base is large enough and passionate enough to actually support a wide variety of athletes."
Bijan Robinson—Candy.com trading card
With nearly 130,000 followers across Twitter and Instagram, Bijan Robinson is a star on and off the football field. He's used that clout to his advantage and partnered with Raising Cane's, Athletic Brewing and Centre Apparel.
And he's now following in the footsteps of NBA's TopShot with his very own NFT. Trading cards are a growing commodity in the NFT community, with TopShot raking in $700 million on cards, highlight reels and more last year.
Robinson's 100 Rare NFTs currently sit at $250 and feature a hero shot, his jersey number, position and an animated signature with a sleek, high-tech gold finish.
COTA NFTs—360 views and tickets too
Each of the two NFTs feature 360 views of different aspects of the COTA track. (Circuit of the Americas)
Back in October, Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein appeared to embody his promise to make the 2021 U.S. Grand Prix the "biggest event on the planet this year" as an estimated 400,000 attendees made it through the gates for the Formula One weekend event.
To commemorate the event, the circuit decided to leap into the trendy NFT scene with two 360-degree panoramas, set at minimum bids of $30,000 each. And like many who look to tack on physical elements to the mystical crypto world, the circuit includes two VIP passes for MotoGP or Formula 1 events this year or next.
"Circuit of The Americas hosts some of the world's most iconic sports and entertainment events," Epstein said in a press release. "Just as visitors realize how unique and special COTA is, we know collectors will appreciate the significance behind our designs as well as the premium hospitality associated with the winning bids."
Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection—a true UT NFT
Check out this dope project I did for the Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection!— Bryson Williams (@artofbryson) September 11, 2021
Titled "Longhorn Legacies" Made in collaboration with @VybHouse and @Rickthelaureate
For more info check out https://t.co/XFr5gDSFta pic.twitter.com/SRCyWsjVqM
As the school's two Heisman Trophy winners, UT football legends Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams made sports history at their times as running backs for the Longhorns football team—and they encouraged others to become part of sports history themselves with a rare collection of 100 NFTs in honor of the renaming of the school's historic football stadium.
In collaboration with UT, Campbell and Williams created the collection a year after the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was renamed in their honor. The "Campbell-Williams Field NFT Collection" included:
- The Campbell-Williams Experience NFT, which gives its owner two VIP tickets to the 2022 Super Bowl and Williams' Super Bowl 2022 party in Los Angeles,, dinner with Earl Campbell and friends and a 'UT Legend' memorabilia package.
- The ArtofBryson NFT, which included two tickets to The Red River Showdown (UT vs. Oklahoma) on Oct. 9, a Zoom call with both Williams and Campbell, signed cleats from current running back Robinson, and other care package add-ons.
- The Moon Ticket: six NFTs that grants its owners to an out-of-this-world astrology chat with Williams
- And the 100 trading-card style NFTs featuring artwork and both players' digital signatures.
USMNT—and their NFTs—come to Austin
As the U.S. Men's National Team headed to Austin's brand-new Q2 Stadium to play Jamaica in October, so did its Only Forward Art Series. This edition of the months-long series featured a poster design from Austin artist Phoebe "Feebee" Joynt.
Joynt incorporated her specialties in graphic design, street art and logo work to create the gameday poster, which was featured around town, at Austin FC's downtown store and online as an NFT.
"I was thrilled to work with FootyCon and U.S. Soccer," FeeBee told the USMNT. "I've always had a passion for soccer after being introduced to the sport by my dad as a young child and I'm so excited to create a piece inspired by the game that also references and is in dialogue with the amazing city of Austin that I call home."
The rare free NFT became available to all fans attending the Oct. 7 World Cup Qualifier as well as via purchase on the NTWRK app the day before the game.
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