After winning 33 swimming medals at the Rio Olympics — more than three times any other country’s total and including 16 golds — the United States is aiming to put together another juggernaut team for Tokyo. Some swimmers will be familiar; others will be looking to launch their way to Olympic stardom. Among the notable events will be the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle, which will be contested for the first time at the Olympics and which is expected to be dominated by world record holder Katie Ledecky.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When are the trials?
  • Where are they?
  • Who are the swimmers to watch?
  • How can I watch?
  • What is the schedule?
  • How is the team selected?

When are the trials?

The Olympic trials will be Sunday to June 20. Technically, this will be Wave II of a two-tiered trials meet, structured in such a way as to reduce capacity because of coronavirus concerns. Wave I, featuring most trials qualifiers, was June 4-7; Wave II is reserved for more elite swimmers and will be used to select the U.S. Olympic team.

Where are they?

The trials will be held in Omaha, at CHI Health Center Arena. Omaha has become the semi-permanent home of the Olympic trials, having also hosted them in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Who are the swimmers to watch?

Five years after her career-defining five-medal haul in Rio de Janeiro, Ledecky remains the dominant female swimmer in the world. She will be the overwhelming favorite in Omaha in the 200-, 400-, 800- and 1,500-meter freestyles, and with five career Olympic golds, she should head to Tokyo with a chance to tie or surpass Jenny Thompson’s record (eight) for U.S. female Olympians.

Sprinter Simone Manuel, who won four medals in Rio and made history as the first Black American woman to win individual gold, remains a force in the shorter freestyle events and relays.

On the men’s side, Caeleb Dressel, a two-time gold medalist in Rio, exploded to a record eight medals (including six golds) at the 2019 world championships and is a legitimate threat to win six or even seven golds in Tokyo.

Ryan Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, is the sentimental favorite to make his fifth Olympic squad — which would tie him with Michael Phelps and Dara Torres for the most by an American swimmer. But the 36-year-old will need to pull out an epic swim in his best event, the 200 individual medley, to qualify for Tokyo.

How can I watch?

The finals in each event will be televised live to most of the country (and on delay to the West Coast) on NBC. Morning preliminary heats will be shown on a delayed basis on NBC Sports Network but also will be streamed live on and the NBC Sports app. A complete TV schedule follows (all times Eastern).


5:30 p.m.: Qualifying heats, NBCSN

8 p.m.: Finals, NBC


6:30 p.m.: Qualifying heats, NBCSN

8 p.m.: Finals, NBC


6:30 p.m.: Qualifying heats, NBCSN

8 p.m.: Finals, NBC


6:30 p.m.: Qualifying heats, NBCSN

8 p.m.: Finals, NBC


6:30 p.m.: Qualifying heats, NBCSN

8 p.m.: Finals, NBCSN

10 p.m.: Finals, NBC


6 p.m.: Qualifying heats, NBCSN

9 p.m.: Finals, NBC


6:30 p.m.: Qualifying heats, NBCSN

9 p.m.: Finals, NBC

June 20

8:15 p.m.: Finals, NBC

What is the schedule?

Each of the eight nights of trials will feature either three or four finals — beginning with the men’s 400-meter IM on Sunday and ending with the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle June 20 — and as many as four semifinals. (Semifinals are used only for events of 200 meters or shorter.) The complete schedule follows.


Morning session

Men’s 400 IM preliminaries

Women’s 100 butterfly preliminaries

Men’s 400 freestyle preliminaries

Women’s 400 IM preliminaries

Men’s 100 breaststroke preliminaries

Evening session

Men’s 400 IM final

Women’s 100 butterfly semifinals

Men’s 400 freestyle final

Women’s 400 IM final

Men’s 100 breaststroke semifinals


Morning session

Women’s 100 backstroke preliminaries

Men’s 200 freestyle preliminaries

Women’s 100 breaststroke preliminaries

Men’s 100 backstroke preliminaries

Women’s 400 freestyle preliminaries

Evening session

Women’s 100 butterfly final

Men’s 200 freestyle semifinals

Women’s 100 breaststroke semifinals

Men’s 100 breaststroke final

Women’s 400 freestyle final

Men’s 100 backstroke semifinals

Women’s 100 backstroke semifinals


Morning session

Women’s 200 freestyle preliminaries

Men’s 200 butterfly preliminaries

Women’s 200 IM preliminaries

Women’s 1,500 freestyle preliminaries

Evening session

Women’s 200 freestyle semifinals

Men’s 200 freestyle final

Women’s 100 backstroke final

Men’s 100 backstroke final

Women’s 100 breaststroke final

Men’s 200 butterfly semifinals

Women’s 200 IM semifinals


Morning session

Men’s 100 freestyle preliminaries

Women’s 200 butterfly preliminaries

Men’s 200 breaststroke preliminaries

Men’s 800 freestyle preliminaries

Evening session

Men’s 100 freestyle semifinals

Women’s 200 freestyle final

Men’s 200 butterfly final

Women’s 200 butterfly semifinals

Men’s 200 breaststroke semifinals

Women’s 200 IM final

Women’s 1,500 freestyle final


Morning session

Women’s 100 freestyle preliminaries

Men’s 200 backstroke preliminaries

Women’s 200 breaststroke preliminaries

Men’s 200 IM preliminaries

Evening session

Men’s 800 freestyle final

Men’s 200 breaststroke final

Women’s 100 freestyle semifinals

Men’s 200 backstroke semifinals

Women’s 200 butterfly final

Men’s 100 freestyle final

Women’s 200 breaststroke semifinals

Men’s 200 IM semifinals


Morning session

Women’s 800 freestyle preliminaries

Men’s 100 butterfly preliminaries

Women’s 200 backstroke preliminaries

Evening session

Women’s 200 breaststroke final

Men’s 200 backstroke final

Women’s 200 backstroke semifinals

Men’s 200 IM final

Women’s 100 freestyle final

Men’s 100 butterfly semifinals


Morning session

Men’s 50 freestyle preliminaries

Women’s 50 freestyle preliminaries

Men’s 1,500 freestyle preliminaries

Evening session

Men’s 100 butterfly final

Women’s 200 backstroke final

Women’s 800 freestyle final

Men’s 50 freestyle semifinals

Women’s 50 freestyle semifinals

Sunday, June 20

Evening session only

Men’s 50 freestyle final

Women’s 50 freestyle final

Men’s 1,500 freestyle final

How is the team selected?

The top two finishers in each final earn spots on Team USA for that event. In the case of the 100- and 200-meter freestyles, up to four additional swimmers could be added to the team to compete in relays in Tokyo.

Will there be fans?

Yes, but attendance will be capped at 50 percent capacity (about 7,000).