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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Austin's Delta 8 industry has been turned on its head after Texas health officials clarified that the cannabinoid is on the state list of illegal substances, though it was previously believed to be legal by most retailers, consumers and manufacturers.
House Bill 1325, which was signed in June 2019 by Gov. Greg Abbott, and the Farm Bill, signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2018, legalized any hemp product containing less than .3% THC. The same bills were thought to have made Delta 8 legal, though the Texas Department of State Health Services added a notice on its website saying it was still a controlled substance as of Friday, Oct. 15.
Both the federal and state governments keep separate lists on what is considered a controlled substance. Marijuana is considered Schedule I, a category reserved for substances with "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse," both statewide and federally.
Austin-based CBD retailer Grassroots Harvest CEO Kemal Whyte, like many CBD shop retailers, was blindsided by the announcement. Many small businesses rely on Delta 8 for their sales—Green Herbal Care CBD said about 90% of its sales come from Delta 8—and Whyte said he is frustrated by the inconsistencies in the drug scheduling system.
Since 87% of Texans support the legalization of marijuana, at least for medical use, per a recent poll, Whyte said he wonders who this legislation is for.
"It's gonna have a massive impact on small businesses—there's just no way around it," Whyte said. "The reality is, we don't want to push out anything bad for our customers, we want this to benefit our customers and to help them. If we can make money while doing it, that's the American dream. What are we doing, whose benefit is this for?"
Delta 8 surged in popularity after the perceived legalization—consumers enjoyed its lower psychotropic potency, decreased anxiety while using it and the peace of mind as a legal way to get high. So in order to protect their products and livelihoods, both Grassroots Harvest and Austin-based manufacturer Hometown Heroes are taking legal action.
Whyte said Grassroots Harvest is suing DSHS, saying their action is creating negative effects in the market. Meanwhile, a Hometown Heroes spokesperson said the company is in the process of filing a temporary restraining order that would pause the ban on Delta-8 in the state of Texas.
Threats against Delta 8 are not new—DSHS lost a lawsuit trying to make "smokable hemp products" illegal last year and Texas lawmakers had been considering a bill that would make Delta 8 illegal, though it was dropped after the clarification was made.
Hometown Heroes released a formal statement in response to the DSHS rule.
"I need to be clear—we love Texas, we're just choosing to fight for the will of the people in regards to cannabis in Texas," Hometown Hero CEO Lukas Gilkey said in a statement. "(Texas DSHS) are using backhanded ways to create legislation and go against the will of the people."
Whyte laments the fact that it would be easier legally to "open up a strip club that also sells guns," and said he can't post customer testimonials that mention the benefits of Delta 8 without getting hit with a cease and desist from the Food and Drug Administration. Whyte said he isn't opposed to regulation—far from it—he just wants to see it go through the correct channels.
"The fact that they're stunting our ability to communicate with our clients that want to learn about this, you're preventing us from communicating with them and teaching them, or spreading information that we know," Whyte said. "I think that that in and of itself opens up a lot of questions."
Grassroots Harvest still has Delta 8 products on its shelves for the time being but for how long, Whyte doesn't know.
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Austin Public Health and other clinics around Austin are now providing booster shots for all three vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, to fully vaccinated individuals after both Pfizer and J & J were approved by the CDC on Wednesday.
APH and Austin clinics, which were already administering the approved Pfizer booster, will begin distributing shots as soon as Friday.
Those who received the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine more than six months ago are elligble to receive a booster if they are over 65 or if they are over 18 and:
- Live in a long-term care environment
- Have underlying medical conditions
- Work or live in high-risk settings, such as schools, hospitals or correctional facilities
Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said in a media Q&A Friday that APH is encouraging boosters just as much as they have urged residents to get their first and second doses.
"Boosters are incredibly important to keeping our community protected and hospitalizations low," Walkes said. "If we can stay on top of our vaccinations, we provide protections for our most vulnerable and make it that much harder for COVID to spread in our community."
Eligible residents are free to choose the same booster as their first doses or "mix and match," per the CDC announcement.
Those looking for another dose can simply bring their vaccination card to APH centers or the dozens of Walgreens and CVS locations in the metro, which began administering doses Friday.
Additional updated guidance from the CDC allows for all eligible individuals to choose which vaccine they receive as a "mix-and-match" booster dose. It is advised to remember to bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card showing the original doses with you when going for booster shots.
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