The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee had previously released the daily schedule of competitive events for the upcoming Olympic Games. However, we now have insight into a more detailed break-down of each day’s events, as the actual times of each sporting discipline’s competitions have been released.
There had been build-up of opposition to the prospect of swimming events starting at a considerably late time in the evening – 10pm local – in order to accommodate American TV broadcasters. In fact, the Australian Olympic Committee initially vocally came out against the timing, only to reverse course and instead offer support just a few weeks later.
Nevertheless, the detailed session schedule reveals that the later start times for pool swimming events do indeed stand, with prelims at 1pm local time and finals at 10pm local time on each day of the competition.
Review of the schedule for other disciplines reveals swimming is not alone in its late start time. Basketball (10:30pm) and beach volleyball (10pm and 11pm) will also finish late domestically, but like swimming are among the more popular Olympic sports and will coincide with prime-time in the United States. According to a USA Today article late last year, Rio organizing committee head, Carlos Nuzman, indicated that “We need to organize a schedule that the television asks, together with the international federations. They decided with us. We have no problems with this. It will be good for the athletes.”