Simone Biles at Olympics 2021: How to watch her events, start times

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Last-minute protests marked the end of a tempestuous year of delay, but now the 2021 Olympics are officially underway. The opening ceremony was replete with spectacle, video game music and a viral shirtless man. Now, as the games begin, many eyes are cast on Simone Biles, one of the US’ biggest star athletes.

Biles enters Tokyo’s 2021 Olympics with serious momentum (and star power). She holds more medals than any other gymnastics competitor, with 25 — 19 of which are golds. Biles is one of six women the US is sending to compete in gymnastics, alongside Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner. The men’s team is made up of five: Brody Balinese, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus, Sam Mikulak and Alec Yoder. 

Olympic gymnastics is comprised of four events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Following a qualification round, Biles will compete in all four. In total, Biles is up to win six gold medals. In Rio’s 2016 Olympics she won four golds — in vault, floor, individual all-around and team all-around — and performed with such distinction that she was chosen to be US flag bearer at the closing ceremonies.  

Simone Biles event start times and how to watch

Biles’ gymnastic events take place between July 25 and Aug. 3. With the Olympic Games taking place in Tokyo, most of the events take place in the middle of the night. Those on the east coast will have an easier time, with some events starting as late as 6:45 a.m., but it’s a grim schedule for those out west. In an inversion of the typical case, the UK and Australia have it better. 

Qualification: July 24, 11:10 p.m. PT/ July 25 2:10 a.m. ET/ 7:10 a.m. UK time/ 4:10 p.m. AEST

Team final: July 27, 3:45 a.m. PT/6:45 a.m. ET/11:45 a.m. UK time/8:45 p.m. AEST

Individual all-around final: July 29, 3:50 a.m. PT/6:50 a.m. ET/11: 50 a.m. UK time/ 8:50 p.m. AEST

Vault final: Aug. 1,1 a.m. PT/ 4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST

Uneven bars final: Aug. 1, 1 a.m. PT/4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST

Floor exercise final: Aug. 2, 1 a.m. PT/ 4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST

Balance beam final: Aug. 3, 1 a.m. PT/ 4 a.m. ET/9 a.m. UK time/6 p.m. AEST

Those in the US can watch the Olympic Games, and all of the above events, through NBC. NBC’s TV channel will air edited versions of the Games during prime-time hours, but you can watch the events live on Peacock or on Viewers in the UK will watch through EuroSport, while Australians can see the games through Channel 7 and the 7Plus streaming service. 

What’s at stake

Simone Biles has become a significant force unto herself in recent years: She’s often called the greatest gymnast of all time, and after just one Olympic Games is considered a top-tier Olympian. 

Her accolades go beyond medals, and include being named Most Dominant Athlete of the Year by ESPN (2018), ESPN’s Woman of the Year (2016) and AP’s Female Athlete of the Year (2019). A showing in Tokyo consistent with Biles’ history of success will go a good way to elevating her to legendary status.

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