Interest in the 2018 Winter Olympics
In this article, we highlight some compelling data on people’s interest in the 2018 Winter Olympics. The research consisted of an online survey conducted on our platform www.questia.ro and it was active between and 13 and 15 February 2018. The survey covered 500 respondents, with a +/- 4% margin of error when reported to the Romanian online population.
The XXIII Olympic Winter Games last for 17 days, from 9 to 25 February 2018 in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, the Republic of Korea. The Olympic Winter Games event is held in Korea for the first time in 30 years after the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988.
Athletes taking part in the Olympic Winter Games will compete in 102 events in 15 sports disciplines. The Games will be the first Olympic Winter Games with over 100 gold medal. Snow sports have 7 disciplines: alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, ski jumping and snowboard. Ice sports competitions include short track speed skating, speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and curling; while sliding sports.
Some of the most interesting stories covered by the media besides the results in the various competitions were North Korea and South Korea’s march during the opening and closing ceremony and the fact that they have a unified hockey team. The agreement represents a cautious diplomatic breakthrough after months of rising tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Numerous attention also received the North Korean cheerleaders. Seated in the stand in six separate groups, the more than 180 North Koreans performed synchronized cheers throughout the second game played by Unified Korea’s women’s hockey team. Every movement was coordinated, every wave of a flag or clap of the hand performed in unison.
According to The Guardian despite the cheerleaders’ popularity in the arena, the Unified Korean women’s hockey team has been highly controversial. About half of South Koreans had a negative view of the concept, according to a poll last week by Korea Society Opinion Institute. Also, an opinion poll last week found that about 60% of South Koreans preferred “peaceful coexistence” over the unification of the two countries.
Pyeongchang’s Olympics have seen athletes more open and public about their sexuality than ever before, with Canada’s Eric Radford becoming the first out Olympian to claim gold at a Winter Games. The acceptance of gay athletes competing in Pyeongchang makes a sharp contrast to the official approach to LGBT rights at the previous Winter Olympics. In 2014, Sochi’s mayor Anatoly Pakhomov dismissed concerns about Russia’s track record on equality by asserting that there were no gay people in the city. Prior to those Games, more than 50 current and former Olympians backed the Principle 6 campaign against Russia’s anti-gay laws, named after the clause in the Olympic charter that guarantees non-discrimination.
As far as Romania is concerned, it has 27 athletes participating in the competitions of alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, luge, skeleton, ski jumping and speed skating. Below, we present some data related to Romanian’s interest in watching the Olympics.
Most people declared that they are interested in sports competitions, like skiing, figure skating or snowboarding. A minority (13.4%) said winter sports are indifferent to them, while almost 49% said they are not interested in such competitions. Asked if they watched or will watch the 2018 Winter Olympics, 64.8% said they will, on TV, with their families and friends, or online.
Ice skating and skiing are the competitions that people said they will follow in this year’s Winter Olympics. Sliding, hockey and bobsleigh received slighter interest, as well as biathlon, while curling is the least favorite sport to watch.
Asked what types of skiing competitions they will watch, most respondents are interested in ski jumps (74.9%), alpine skiing (56.9%), acrobatic skiing (46.3%), as well as Nordic combined (45.0%) and cross-country skiing (35.8%). Snowboarding completions received lesser interest.
As for ice skating competitions, figure skating is the most preferred to watch, followed by speed skating and speed skating on short track. The figure skating competition is watched especially by women.
Next, we asked respondents at what competitions they think that the Romanian team will perform best and win medals. Sliding, bobsleigh and speed skating are considered the top competitions, while skiing competitions are considered sports to be won by Nordic countries.
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