When do the Olympics start? Full schedule, dates, times for 2024 Summer Games in Paris

All eyes are on Paris this summer.

Three years after the delayed Olympics were played in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer games are back in full force in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. 

This year’s Olympic games span 19 days, with many of the world’s most dominant athletes converging on one city to play for national pride. From basketball and swimming to track and field and gymnastics, part of what makes the Olympics so special is that there truly is something for everyone.

Here’s a complete guide to the Summer Olympics, including the start date, first event, and schedule. 

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When do the Olympics start?

  • Start date: Wednesday, July 24
  • End date: Sunday, August 11

The first events at the Paris Olympics start up on Wednesday, July 24. For most sports, however, competition doesn’t begin until July 27 or later.

No medals will be awarded before the opening ceremony. July 27 marks the first medal events of the summer games, with 24 different sports holding competitions on that day and 14 medal events being held.

For those who enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the opening ceremonies, though, here is the date to look forward to:

Olympics opening ceremony

The opening ceremony will be held on Friday, July 26 in Paris. A few sports will start play in the 48 hours before the ceremonies, but July 26 will be reserved exclusively for the pageantry that welcomes the world to the Olympic games.

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Jardins du Trocadero, currently an open-air space rather than a stadium, will host the opening ceremony along the Seine River. The Seine is expected to be a central part of the fanfare. Around 160 boats and barges will be featured in the ceremony, and attendees who aren’t on bleachers will line the banks of the river to watch as the ceremony unfolds.

The opening ceremony will require an intense security presence given that it’s the first to be held outside of a traditional stadium. That not only means more people can attend and therefore have to be screened, but it also leaves more entry points for security to maintain. 

French president Emmanuel Macron will officially open the 2024 Summer Olympics during the ceremony, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. local time.

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First event at 2024 Olympics

Rugby and soccer will be the first events to start off the Olympics, two full days before the opening ceremony takes place. Soccer is a long tournament, lasting all the way until Aug. 10, so it makes sense to get an early start. Rugby, also known as rugby sevens due to the format being played at the Olympics, wraps up on July 30. 

Twelve rugby matches from men’s pool play will take place on July 24, starting at 9:30 a.m. ET (3:30 p.m. local time). Soccer will have the honor of being first up, however, as Uzbekistan vs. Spain and Argentina vs. Morocco in the men’s tournament will both start at 9 a.m. ET on July 24.

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The countdown is on to the Paris Olympics, and thanks to the way the schedule is structured, fans eager to see some Olympic competition can treat themselves to a small handful of matches before the opening ceremony even takes place.

Olympics schedule 2024

Here’s a look at the start and end dates for each sport at the Olympics in Paris.

Sport Dates
Artistic swimming Aug. 5-10
Diving July 27-Aug. 10
Marathon swimming Aug. 8-9
Swimming July 27-Aug. 4
Water polo July 27-Aug. 11
Archery July 25-Aug. 4
Athletics Aug. 1-11
Badminton July 27-Aug. 5
Basketball July 27-Aug. 11
3-on-3 basketball July 30-Aug. 5
Boxing July 27-Aug. 10
Breaking Aug. 9-10
Slalom canoeing July 27-Aug. 5
Sprint canoeing Aug. 6-10
Road cycling July 27-Aug. 4
Track cycling Aug. 5-11
BMX July 30-Aug. 3
Mountain biking July 28-29
Equestrian dressage July 30-Aug. 4
Equestrian eventing July 27-29
Equestrian jumping Aug. 1-6
Fencing July 27-Aug. 4
Field hockey July 27-Aug. 9
Golf Aug. 1-10
Artistic gymnastics July 27-Aug. 5
Rhythmic gymnastics Aug. 8-10
Trampoline gymnastics Aug. 2
Handball July 25-Aug. 11
Judo July 27-Aug. 3
Modern pentathlon Aug. 8-11
Rowing July 27-Aug. 3
Rugby July 24-30
Sailing July 28-Aug. 8
Shooting July 27-Aug. 5
Skateboarding July 27-Aug. 7
Soccer Jul. 24-Aug. 10
Sport climbing Aug. 5-10
Surfing July 27-31
Table tennis July 27-Aug. 10
Taekwondo Aug. 7-10
Tennis July 27-Aug. 4
Triathlon July 30-Aug. 5
Beach volleyball July 27-Aug. 10
Volleyball July 27-Aug. 11
Weightlifting Aug. 7-11
Wrestling Aug. 5-11

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