The first weekend of the Olympic games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil are in the books. Days 1 and 2 of Olympic activity provided plenty of dramatic and memorable moments and this first full week of the games promises to be even better with marquee athletes from a wide range of different sports will be competing for everlasting Olympic glory.
Here’s a look at 10 events coming up this week that you’re not going to want to miss.
1. Friday, Aug. 12 (9:12 p.m. ET) – Men’s 100m Butterfly Final
If this is indeed Michael Phelps’ final Olympic games, then this could be the final time the most decorated Olympian of all time takes tho the water for an individual swim.
Phelps has won this event at the last three games so it stands to reason that he’ll make it to the medal swim and if he does, this one could be historic for many reasons.
2. Tuesday, Aug. 9 (3 p.m. ET) – Women’s Gymnastics Team Final
Simone Biles is must-see TV any time she competes, but this one should truly be special. If Biles can help lead Team USA to victory in the team final event it’ll mark the first time that the U.S. women’s team has ever won back-to-back gold medals in the event.
They are the favorites and it should be thrilling to watch the women chase history on Tuesday afternoon.
3. Thursday, Aug. 11 (10:01 p.m. ET) – Men’s 200m Individual Medley
Michael Phelps’ signature event has become the individual medley and he’s taken home gold in each of his three appearances in 200m at the Olympics. However, hot on his trail will be teammate Ryan Lochte, who took a potential third straight gold from Phelps in the 400m individual medley at the London games in 2012.
However, Lochte didn’t qualify to defend that gold this year and the 200m will be his only chance to swim for individual gold in 2016. Phelps bested Lochte in U.S. Olympic Trials before the games by just over three-tenths of a second (1:55:91 to Lochte’s 1:56:22), so this one should be fascinating to watch.
4. Friday, Aug. 12 (9:20 p.m. ET) – Women’s 800m Freestyle Final
Immediately after Phelps exits the pool for what could be the final time in an Olympic individual competition, the woman who has already begun to fill his massive shoes, Katie Ledecky, will slide into the pool for her final individual race in Rio.
Ledecky already has already claimed gold in these games after breaking her own world record in the 400m freestyle event on Sunday night. If you haven’t watch Ledecky compete, you have to seize this final opportunity to do just that. She’s simply brilliant in the water and should – barring a major upset – repeat as the gold-medal winner in this event for the second Olympics in a row.
5. Thursday, Aug. 11 (3 p.m. ET) – Women’s Gymnastics All-Around Final
While Biles will be the heavy favorite and star attraction at the all-around final, one of the biggest stories heading into the final is surrounding 2012’s gold medal winner, Gabby Douglas. On Sunday Douglas fell victim to the rule that no more than two athletes per country can compete in the all-around finals and was ousted after Aly Raisman bested her score just under half a point, even though Biles, Raisman and Douglas placed 1, 2 and 3, respectively.
However, Biles and Raisman will be the heavy favorites to take home gold and silver at the all-around finals and continue the U.S. women’s team’s domination of gymnastics at the summer Olympic games.
6. Saturday, Aug. 13 (11 a.m. ET) – Women’s Singles Tennis Final
After a less-than-stellar showing by Venus Williams in Rio, the Williams sisters have been eliminated from the doubles competition and Venus has been eliminated from singles play as well after losing to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium on Saturday, Day 1 of singles play.
Still, Serena is looking to capture her second – and second consecutive – gold medal in Rio. Should she make it to the finals, it’ll be special, but either way, there’s no shortage of talent in women’s tennis in Rio and the finals will be worth a watch as will the quarter and semi finals, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday the 10th and 11th. Competition starts on those days at 9:45 a.m. ET Wednesday and 11 a.m. ET Thursday.
7. Tuesday, Aug. 9 (6 p.m. ET) – Women’s Soccer Group G Final
A stellar year thus far for the women’s U.S. soccer team has continued in Rio. The women’s team dispatched New Zealand 3-0 in their first Group G matchup followed by No. 3-ranked France 1-0 to take sole possession of the group.
Now, they’ll face Colombia in their final Group G matchup before the quarterfinals begin on Friday, Aug. 12. With a positive result against Colombia, the women’s team will be in prime position to repeat as gold medal winners for the fourth consecutive summer games and become the first women’s team to win a World Cup and Olympic gold in back-to-back years.
8. Sunday, Aug. 14 (9:25 p.m. ET) – Men’s Track And Field 100m Final
You’ll have to put civic pride aside in the interest of Olympic history here, but it’ll be worth watching Usain Bolt try to become the first man to win this event in three consecutive Olympic games.
Bolt has also announced that these will be his final Olympic games as he’ll retire in 2017 after the world championships in London, so take the time to watch the fastest man in the world make history in Rio.
9. Thursday, Aug. 11 (6:30 a.m. ET) – Men’s Golf Begins
Sure, a handful of the world’s top golfers have bailed on the Olympics, but there’s still plenty of talent as golf returns to the Olympic games from a 112-year layoff. It should be fun to watch some of the best golfers in the world represent their country – especially guys who don’t get the chance to compete in the Ryder Cup if they’re not members of the U.S. or of Europe.
10. Monday, Aug. 8 (6:00 p.m. ET) – Men’s Basketball Group A Game 2
The truth is, when you have as many stars on one team as Team USA men’s basketball does, it’s practically must-see TV any time they take the floor. While the men’s team shouldn’t have much (any) trouble handling Venezuela in their match on Monday, seeing some of the world’s best players on the court together is still worth a look. Also on their schedule this week – Wednesday against Australia (6 p.m. ET), Friday against Serbia (6 p.m. ET) and finally, Sunday against France (1:15 p.m. ET).
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for any of his other three teams.