Four former Stanford and Cal soccer players will help the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games get an early start on Wednesday. The USA Women’s Soccer team plays Sweden in a 5:30 p.m. (Japan Time) Group G match.

Adjust the 16-hour time differential to get the local (Pacific Time) start: 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. It will be among the first events of the Games available on the NBC family of stations.

Back-up just a few hours, however. Softball, which makes its return to the Games this year (along with baseball) kicks off the Olympics just a bit earlier on Wednesday—with games at 9 a.m. and noon in Tokyo.

The noon game involving the USA and Italy, can be seen here at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

It will include 2012 Cal grad Valerie Arioto, who was the Pac-12 Softball Player of the Year as a senior.

OLYMPIC COVERAGE IN THE US BEGINS TUESDAY EVENING

Tokyo Olympic telecasts begin Tuesday at 5 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN). Expect extensive coverage of the opening softball contest between Australia and host Japan, followed by the USA-Italy contest.

The USA roster for the opening soccer match includes Stanford alums Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, and Tierna Davidson; also Cal’s Alex Morgan is playing on her third Olympic team.

O’Hara is in her third Olympics, having played every minute of the USA’s gold medal run at London in 2012. Press, Stanford’s all-time leading scorer with 71 goals, is on her second USA team after making four game appearances in Brazil in 2016. Davidson led Stanford to the 2017 NCAA Championship and joined the USA team in 2019 as the youngest player on the roster at the Word Cup in France that season.

STANFORD AND CAL SEND 109 TO TOKYO

The local trend will be evident through the Games. Stanford and Cal alone have a staggering 109 athletes and coaches participating, including many on the national teams of other countries. Stanford has 50 athletes and Cal has 49.

On USA teams, the Stanford lineup features 35 athletes and three coaches. Those do not include seven alternates also being taken to Tokyo on various teams, including two for soccer. Cal has 15 on American teams, including golf star Collin Morikawa.

Following Friday’s official opening ceremonies, swimming will hold much of the early spotlight. The Bay Area will be in focus throughout, with Stanford’s Katie Ledecky as the headliner. Stanford also has a swim team captain and sprint record breaker Simone Manuel and incoming freshman star Regan Smith among five members of the team. Cal has six USA swim team members – plus eight representing other countries.

Stanford has the USA’s head women’s coach, Greg Meehan, while Cal has the head men’s coach, David Durden, plus assistant women’s coach Teri McKeever.

Swimming preliminary coverage on NBC networks begins Saturday morning at 3 a.m. P.T.

Track and field competition, where Stanford has eight athletes in nine events, starts a week later, on July 30. Those athletes include women’s discus thrower Valarie Allman of the USA, with the current No. 2 mark in the world, and defending Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi, who represents Greece. Cal has a medal contender in recent women’s collegiate hammer throw record breaker Camryn Rogers, who competes for Canada, and has a USA assistant coach in San Mateo resident Robyne Johnson.

Cal also provides men’s and women’s water polo and rowing coaches for the USA – with more to come later on those sports.

Fred Baer is covering his 15th Olympic Games, including 12th Summer Olympics since 1972, serving as ABC’s women’s sports researcher and served as statistician for track, basketball, and aquatics. He also hosted the founding meeting of the Track and Field Writers of America during the U.S. Olympic Trials prior to the Games.

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