By Jamie MacDonald | Aug. 05, 2015, 6:12 p.m. (ET)


The ultimate countdown is on. The Rio 2016 Olympic Games begin one year from today and the 365-day countdown ends with the lighting of a flame that will burn bright enough in Rio for the whole world to take notice for the better part of August 2016.

In case you’re an over-zealous planner, here’s an overview of which events you’ll want to schedule your life around in one year’s time…


Friday, Aug. 5

Expect a grand show, one that showcases the history of Brazil and "the Marvelous City," at the 78,600-seat Maracanã for the Opening Ceremony. More than 200 countries are expected to participate in the parade of nations, including more than 500 members of Team USA. Who will lead the United States as its flag bearer?

And keep an eye out, too, for Vinicius and Tom, Rio 2016’s official mascots.


Saturday, Aug. 6


The first full day of competition has the Games out to a quick start with 20 sports on the docket, including the first medal events in shooting, road cycling, archery, judo, fencing, weightlifting and, to cap off the Saturday, swimming.

Swimming finals include the men's 400-meter individual medley, men's 400-meter freestyle, women's 400-meter individual medley and women's 4x100-meter freestyle. The latter sets up as Missy Franklin's first chance at medaling in Rio.

Beach volleyball will also take place on the stunning Copacabana beach, from which there are likely to be beauty shots o' plenty.


Sunday, Aug. 7

Sunday sets up as another headlining day in the pool, where medals will be awarded in the women's 100-meter butterfly, men's 100-meter breaststroke, women's 400-meter freestyle and the always thrilling men's 4x100-meter freestyle.

Michael Phelps could have his first chance at medaling in his fifth Olympic Games, and Katie Ledecky could cement her status as a distance star with the 400 free -- and, who knows, maybe another world record for the superstar teen.

Canoe/kayak slalom and diving begin competition, with medals awarded in the women's synchronized 3-meter springboard, which Team USA won silver in three years ago.


Monday, Aug. 8


Trivia question: Who was the United States' flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony in London? The answer is two-time gold medalist Mariel Zagunis, and she's expected to be in action as the women's individual saber event will take place at Carioca Arena, beginning with a round of 64 in the morning and concluding with the gold-medal match in the evening.

The popular men's synchronized 10-meter platform diving event, where David Boudia earned bronze with Nick McCrory in London, will also see medals awarded at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on the first Monday of the Games.

Women's judo medals will be contested at the -57 kg. class, in which Marti Malloy earned a bronze medal in London.

Women’s rugby will wrap up its Olympic debut with placement matches, including those for gold/silver and bronze medals.

Team USA is expected to contend for more medals on Monday in the men's gymnastics team final that evening and the nighttime swimming events. On the third consecutive day of swimming, finals will be held in the men's 200-meter freestyle, women's 100-meter backstroke, men's 100-meter backstroke and women's 100-meter breaststroke. Team USA athletes to watch include Matt Grevers (bronze at the 2015 world championships) and Franklin (defending Olympic champion) in the backstroke events, Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the 200 free, and Jessica Hardy in the 100 breaststroke.

Earlier in the day, sailing events are set to begin at Marina da Glória.


Tuesday, Aug. 9


Among the premiere events at the Games is the women's gymnastics team final, an event in which the United States is the defending champion. Simone Biles is poised to make a big statement after turning pro this past July, and 2012 Olympic champs Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Kyla Ross are looking to return and defend.

Tennis matches gain more importance, too, with more than 10 hours of competition that will result in doubles quarterfinals, Round 3 matches for the women and Round 2 matches for the men. Serena and Venus Williams may be in contention for what would mark a fifth medal for each.

And, swimming, of course, takes over much of the evening slate with finals in the women's 200-meter freestyle (Franklin and Ledecky may set up for an interesting final), men's 200-meter butterfly, women's 200-meter individual medley (remember the name Maya DiRado) and men's 4x200-meter freestyle (Phelps and Lochte would certainly be in the conversation for Team USA).


Wednesday, Aug. 10


In road cycling, medals will be contested in both the men's and women’s individual time trials, the latter of which saw Team USA's Kristin Armstrong earn gold in both Beijing and London.

After four days of rowing heats, the first of four days of medal events takes place at Lagoa Stadium, including quadruple sculls on both the women's and men's sides, while the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard diving final is set for the late afternoon. In London, Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen teamed up for bronze in the event. Both athletes are looking to compete in Rio.

Marquee events highlight the evening action in the gym and the pool, with the men's individual all-around final in gymnastics and four medal events at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium: men's 200-meter breaststroke, women's 200-meter butterfly (Cammile Adams is a name to remember), men's 100-meter freestyle (Nathan Adrian remains one of the best in the world) and the women's 4x200-meter freestyle (which featured names like Franklin, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt in London).


Thursday, Aug. 11


Fore! Making its Olympic return for the first time in 112 years, golf tees off early Thursday morning with men's play at the Olympic Golf Course. Team USA will bring a strong lineup to Rio, and the final group of a probable four (among a field of 60) could come from current top-15 players Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson.

Overall, judo events are winding down, but the story of Kayla Harrison, the 2012 gold medalist at -78 kg., heats back up with medal rounds in the evening. At about the same time, the women's individual all-around final in gymnastics will take place with so many eyes on Team USA. Biles will likely enter as a heavy favorite, while London stars Douglas and Raisman may also be in the mix.

Deodoro Stadium hosts the final day of men's rugby play, with matches to settle the top eight, including bronze- and gold-medal matches, followed by more medal duels in the pool: women's 200-meter breaststroke, men's 200-meter backstroke (Lochte and Tyler Clary on the podium?), men's 200-meter individual medley (Phelps has a three-Olympic streak going, but he'll have Lochte with whom to contend) and the women's 100-meter freestyle.


Friday, Aug. 12


Heading into the second week of competition, track and field begins to take over center stage, with the first medal events taking place at Olympic Stadium. Medals will be awarded in the women's 10,000-meter, while preliminary heats will take place in the women's 100-meter. Team USA long-distance star Shalane Flanagan, who won bronze in the 10,000-meter at the Beijing Games, has a chance at making her fourth Olympic team, while Tori Bowie and English Gardner may be ready for the biggest stage in the 100-meter.

Included in eight hours of men's tennis will be the doubles final, where the most successful duo in men's doubles tennis history, Bob and Mike Bryan, can win gold for the second consecutive Olympics (they also won bronze in Beijing).

Beginning in the afternoon and running straight into the evening, four quarterfinal matches will take place in women's soccer, with Team USA only a year or so removed from winning the Women's World Cup. Perhaps the most compelling question surrounding Team USA: whether Abby Wambach will be a part of it.

The penultimate day of swimming in Rio also sets up as the final individual swim of Phelps' legendary career and Franklin's for the 2016 Games.


Saturday, Aug. 13


The first medals of the day will be contested on the final day of rowing, where the United States will seek a three-peat in the women's eight.

Olympic Stadium should be abuzz on the second Saturday of the Games, which will feature preliminary and first-round runs for the title of the Fastest Man in the World. Is this the year 2004 gold medalist and 2012 bronze medalist Justin Gatlin returns to the top of the podium?

The Olympic Tennis Centre also sets up to host another chance for Serena Williams to win Olympic gold, this in the evening's women's singles final, which she won in 2012.

Night events on the track include finals in the women's 100-meter (Tori Bowie had a nice showing this past week in Stockholm), men's long jump (Jeff Henderson won gold at the 2015 Pan Am Games) and men's 10,000-meter (Galen Rupp won silver at the event in London).

Swimming draws to a close at the Aquatics Stadium with a slate that may mark Phelps' last Olympic swim in one of the Games' most dramatic events, the men's 4x100-meter medley. The women will swim the same event with what is likely to be its own all-star cast (in London, the winning team included individual champions Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Vollmer and Schmitt).


Sunday, Aug. 14


Getting up early will at this point have become a way of life for golfers and fans of the sport, as the first event of the day, the men's final round, takes place at 7 a.m. local time at the Olympic Golf Course.

Throughout the Sunday afternoon at Centre Court, gold medals will be on the line in men's singles and women's doubles, which could give Serena Williams her second gold medal in as many days.

Fans with tickets to Olympic Stadium may have the most coveted seats for the Games, the ones that include the men's 100-meter final. In addition to an expectation that Gatlin will figure in the medals, will Tyson Gay and/or Mike Rodgers make it to the final?


Monday, Aug. 15


Preliminary rounds in field hockey began back on Aug. 6, and Team USA, which won gold at the Pan Am Games in Toronto this past July by beating 2012 Olympic silver medalist Argentina, hopes to be part of the quarterfinals, which begin on this Monday. Team USA will be led by Lauren Crandall, Rachel Dawson and Katelyn Falgowski, all of whom competed in both Beijing and London.

On the track, we may have the chance to see a handful of compelling stories play out in the first round of the men's 110-meter hurdles and women's 200-meter, as well as the finals of the men's 800-meter and women's 400-meter. David Oliver won gold in the 110-meter hurdles at the Pan Am Games and has won two Diamond League events this season. Allyson Felix could begin her defense of gold in the 200-meter, while there's a chance she's running for gold in the 400-meter, too (or instead!). In the men's 800, one compelling question is whether former McDonald’s employee Boris Berian can challenge for a medal.


Tuesday, Aug. 16


During the early sessions on the track, keep an eye out for Christian Taylor, who has had some of the world's best triple jump performances of 2015 and has a chance at gold on this Tuesday. Round 1 of the men's 200-meter, with Gatlin and Gay possibly in the hunt for medals, also takes place.

At the Maracanãzinho, quarterfinal matches add drama to women's indoor volleyball, a sport that in London featured Team USA and eventual gold medalists Brazil in the final. The U.S. women have since won the world championships and World Grand Prix. Quarterfinal action also comes to men's water polo, and the United States would be seeking a return to the podium. Team USA finished with silver in Beijing but out of the medals in London.

Copacabana will play host to the most significant beach volleyball matches of the Games, with semifinals set for the afternoon. In London, Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor topped Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in an all-United States final. Walsh Jennings and Ross have since partnered up, while Kessy is playing with Emily Day. The host country is likely to be in the medal mix, too.

Women's soccer moves to the semifinal round, too, with matches in two venues: Mineirão - Belo Horizonte in the early afternoon, and Maracanã afterward. With Brazil's love for the sport, perhaps the home team will make a run that puts them in the conversation for a medal.

In the late track session, the men's 110-meter hurdles would give Oliver his chance at gold in an event where Team USA went one-two in London with Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson. We'll also be treated to the women's 200-meter semis, where in addition to Felix's attempt to make a fourth Olympic team, Team USA has great depth in Jenna Prandini, Tori Bowie and Jeneba Tarmoh, who won gold with the 4×100-meter team in London.


Wednesday, Aug. 17


Like the men, the best women's golfers in the world will be up and on the Olympic Golf Course early as they begin play. Stacy Lewis, currently the top-ranked U.S.-born women's player, figures to be in the mix for Team USA, along with Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie.

On the track, men's decathlon kicks off with the 100-meter, long jump and shot put in the morning, which may mark the first Rio event for defending Olympic champion Ashton Eaton. The high jump and 400-meter take place in the evening.

Can Team USA defend its first gold in women's water polo? Semifinal action at the Aquatics Stadium will shape that story.

The evening track sessions will also feature the women's long jump final, where Brittney Reese and Tianna Bartoletta may be in the mix. Six-time Olympic medalist Felix could be among the medal favorites in the women's 200-meter final. The U.S. women also will have a shot at sweeping the podium in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, where the likes of Dawn Harper-Nelson, Sharika Nelvis and Jasmin Stowers look to be in the mix.

Capping off a Wednesday full of medals, Copacabana will host a late-night women's beach volleyball final, which, if you're looking for a dream scenario for the home country, would feature Walsh Jennings and Ross against a Brazilian duo for gold.


Thursday, Aug. 18


Eaton's quest to repeat as the World's Greatest Athlete continues with 110-meter hurdles, discus and pole vault events at Olympic Stadium in the morning, followed by javelin and the event-ending 1,500-meter in the evening. Can Eaton break his own world record? And can he become the first to defend the title since Daley Thompson (1980, 1984)?

At the age of 40, Hunter Kemper will be aiming to make his fifth Olympic appearance, and that feat would pay off this Thursday in the men’s triathlon at Fort Copacabana, an event that begins in the morning and is set for an early afternoon finish.

Separated by four hours, two women's semifinal basketball games will tip off at Carioca Arena, where Team USA is likely to be a heavy favorite with such stars as Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, Maya Moore and Brittney Griner.

Olympic Stadium hosts finals in the men's shot put, women's javelin, women's 400-meter hurdles and perhaps Usain Bolt's last individual event, the men's 200-meter. This may also set up as another Gatlin-Bolt showdown.

As the track events are wrapping up for the day, volleyball will heat up the late-night hours with the men's beach final and the women's indoor semis.


Friday, Aug. 19


Qualifications and eliminations will take place in Carioca Arena for men's freestyle wrestling in both the 57 kg. and 74 kg. classes. Team USA's Jordan Burroughs, he of the tremendous Twitter handle @alliseeisgold, did indeed win gold in London at 74 kg. By the afternoon, Burroughs would know whether he'd be in contention for another medal.

Should the U.S. return to the gold-medal match in women's water polo, set for this Friday afternoon, keep an eye out for Maggie Steffens. Certainly, opponents will. As a 19-year-old in London, Steffens led all scorers with 21 goals and was named MVP of the tournament.

As was the case in London, the men's 10-meter platform diving event began late in the Games, but it was worth the wait for David Boudia. Boudia, who is coming off silver at worlds, won gold in 2012, and he is expected to contend in Rio when Friday afternoon's preliminary rounds begin at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.

Soccer competition began before the Olympic cauldron was lit at the Opening Ceremony, but the women's tournament concludes Friday afternoon at Maracanã. Team USA will be among the favorites with Women's World Cup Golden Boot winner Carli Lloyd, along with finalist Japan.

The United States is a clear favorite in men's basketball, and, having gone 8-0 in London, Team USA figures to be at least penciled in for one of two semifinal games, which take place in the afternoon and evening.

Friday night at Olympic Stadium is likely to be a night of goodbyes for Bolt, whose final Olympic race sets up as the men's 4x100-meter. A Team USA foursome figures to be in the medal conversation, too, as is the case with the women's 4x100-meter, where Jamaica is also likely to present a challenge. The United States set a world record in London (40.82 seconds) with Tianna Bartoletta, Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter in the final.


Saturday, Aug. 20


Up early on Saturday? The morning belongs to the women teeing off at Olympic Golf Course, which will host the final round of golf in Rio. 

Team USA triathletes Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah True have already qualified for Rio, and they're likely to hit the water around brunch-time in the east. Jorgensen has enjoyed a dominant run in the sport and is undefeated dating back to May 2014.

In the afternoon, boxing medals are on the line in the men's bantamweight, men's middleweight and women's flyweight divisions. At the 2012 Games in London, Marlen Esparza earned a bronze medal in the latter and is hoping for more in Rio as the 2014 world champion.

Though the Saturday will begin to feel a bit like the end of the Games, the afternoon and evening will feature medal event upon medal event.

The women's basketball final tips off at 2:30 p.m. at Carioca Arena. An hour later, the men's water polo final begins at the Aquatics Stadium. At the same time, Boudia's medal quest could unfold with the beginning of the men's 10-meter platform final at Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.

At 4:30, the men's soccer final kicks off at Maracanã, which is sure to be rocking, particularly if the host country is involved.

A little after 7, it's the final night of track competition with finals in the women's high jump, men's javelin, men's 1,500-meter, women's 800-meter, men's 5,000-meter, women's 4x400-meter and men's 4x400-meter. Team USA will likely figure in the relay events, and possibly in the distance events. In London, the U.S. men finished with silver in the 4x400, while the women finished with gold in the event.

At 9:15, the women's volleyball final begins. Again, imagine a final between rivals Brazil and the United States, on a Saturday night in Rio as the extinguishing of the flame draws near.


Sunday, Aug. 21


Phew. Did you catch all that? The final day of competition, of course, is marked by the Closing Ceremony at Maracanã.

Before we get there, though, it's another full day of action beginning in the morning with men's freestyle wrestling (65 kg., 97 kg.) qualifications and eliminations, and men's marathon (Meb Keflezighi may figure in the medals), as well as bronze-medal games in men's volleyball and men's basketball, followed by finals in rhythmic gymnastics and mountain bike.

In the afternoon and evening, it's all about gold-medal finishes.

At 12:15 p.m., it's the men's volleyball final, where the host nation shines.

At 1, in the event Claressa Shields continues her winning ways, she'll have her chance to win gold in the women’s middleweight class, as she did in London.

At 2:45, Team USA will play for a third consecutive gold medal – and its fifth of six dating back to 1992 – in men's basketball, the final event of the 2016 Rio Games.