We’ve done the hard work for you! Here’s when all the adventure sports that’ve snuck into the Olympics are popping off.
First, an admission. It’s day 5 of the Olympics and I’ve only just had this idea. Some of these sports are underway or have already happened.
I was watching the mountain biking yesterday, after a solid little Google search to work out when the heck it was, and I realised that a) I’m in lockdown, I should be way more prepared for this and b) I bet others are having the same problem.
To quote our News & Features Editor Amy, ‘Why do I not care about sport until the Olympics?’.
So, under the guise of ‘working’ (I am in pyjamas), I’ve found out when all of the sports that vaguely fit under the broad ‘outdoor adventure’ umbrella are being contested.
Wait, how can I watch the Olympics?
If you’re in Australia you can tune in to Channel 7 on free-to-air (you might need to plug in your aerial if you’re a 90s kid or later).
Unfortunately though, this will just give you two presenters foaming at the mouth about gold medals in swimming, so to watch any of the niche sports properly download or log on to 7plus and get streamin’!
The time in Japan is one hour behind Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is pretty perfect, but you can also catch replays on 7plus.
The cross-country mountain biking is run by racing laps around a pretty epic custom-built 4.1km course. There are 8 specific features to tackle and honestly, some of them are pretty gnarly.
Monday 26th July – 3pm
Aussies: Dan McConnell came in 30th place.
Tuesday 27th July – 3pm
Aussies: Look out for Bec McConnell (yep, Dan McConnell’s partner).
Shoutout to beach volleyball for making a hardcore sport out of a day in the sun. It’s also hilarious that this is included but not regular volleyball – apparently it was introduced in 1992 and everyone frothed it so it stayed. 😎
Friday 6th August – 11:30am
Saturday 7th August – 11:30am
Aussies: Look out for Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann in the men’s and Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar in the women’s.
This comp runs for the whole two weeks, check the specifics here.
Canoe and Kayak Racing
Ok I don’t think I was paying attention but canoeing is in the Olympics? Disappointingly, the canoes don’t look anything like your classic boy scout number, they’re lightweight carbon fibre jobbos, but you still only have a single-bladed paddle. It’s nuts.
There’s also regular kayaking which makes a bit more sense, particularly in the slalom. Check out the canoe sprint for a proper wild time, the boats are super different to the slalom and they kneel in them?
Sprint events: Sooo many, click here.
Men’s Canoe Slalom Final
Monday 26th July – 3:45pm
Women’s Kayak Slalom Final
Tuesday 27th July – 4:15pm
Women’s Canoe Slalom Final
Thursday 29th July – 3:55pm
Men’s Kayak Slalom Final
Friday 30th July – 4:00pm
Aussies: Our team is huge! Check it out here.
Equestrian Cross Country
There’s so much about horse events that I don’t understand, but I’m very pleased to discover that competing across all the disciplines on the same horse is called ‘eventing’. How spiffing.
The outdoorsy standout is the cross country, a 6km race with heaps of obstacles. Hopefully we sent over that bloke from the Snowy River…
Sunday 1st August – 7:45
Aussies: Much of the Aussie team have multiple Olympics under their belts but look out for Mary Hanna, at 66 she’s the oldest competitor at the games!
Look, we all know that pool swimming is basically cheating because you get to push off the wall all the time, but keep that on the DL because we’re really good at it. The marathon swim however actually takes place in lakes or oceans. It’s a 10km swim that takes nearly 2 hours.
Wednesday 4th August – 6:30am
Thursday 5th August – 6:30am
Aussies: Kai Edwards and Kareena Lee will be repping the green and gold.
Yikes there is so much sailing that I nearly considered just deleting this entry like I did with shooting (sorry not sorry, guns are bad mmkay). Why are there like 100 sailing events but mountain biking gets a whole two races? Weird.
Anyway this is all to say that sailing is pretty rad, takes place outdoors and makes for some good watching.
Events: Head here for your fix.
Aussies: 13 of them! Bring back the gold champions.
Been waiting for this one? A fresh sport for the Olympics this year, climbing is one of the most undeniably outdoorsy entries on the list. Which is funny because it’ll all take place on plastic climbing holds.
The sport climbing discipline is a single medal, but athletes have to compete across lead-climbing (difficulty+endurance), bouldering (max difficulty) and speed climbing (a niche form of climbing that always takes place on the same route, almost like the 100m sprint but over in less time).
Qualification kicks off on the 3rd of August, see below for the finals.
Thursday 5th August – 5:30pm
Friday 6th August – 5:30pm
Aussies: Oceania Mackenzie and Tom O’Halloran are the Aussie hopefuls!
Hey! I think we’re kinda good at this one (go figure, it’s a water sport).
They’ve already started the surfing despite the reserve days so I guess the kind of choppy, cross-shore slop is as good as it gets.
In fact, the finals are *checks notes* right now!
While most of the Aussie hopefuls, got stung in the middle rounds – stung being the operative word as the surfing team name is the… Irukandjis – Owen Wright just stormed home to a (spoiler alert) Bronze medal against one of the favourites, Brazilian Gabriel Medina.
Missed out on the action, you can jump on 7plus for reruns of the whole team – Owen Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons, Steph Gilmore and Julian Wilson carving it up with the world’s best.
Feature image thanks to the IOC