Gymnastics is the most highly anticipated Olympic sport among U.S. adults, according to a new Morning Consult survey. By the numbers, 62 percent of respondents said they were somewhat, or very interested in, watching gymnastics, which is headlined by Team USA’s Simone Biles.
Rounding out the top ten in American Olympics fan interest was swimming, 56 percent; diving, 51 percent; track and field, 49 percent; beach volleyball, 48 percent; basketball, 46 percent; volleyball, 46 percent; baseball/softball, 44 percent; boxing, 39 percent, and tennis, 39 percent.
The next group from ages 11-to-20 included archery, 35 percent; soccer, 35 percent; surfing, 35 percent; triathlon, 35 percent; karate, 34 percent; skateboarding, 34 percent; artistic swimming, 31 percent; shooting, 31 percent; taekwondo, 31 percent and weightlifting, 30 percent.
Among new sports, baseball and softball (44 percent), back in the Games for the first time since 2008, led the way followed by surfing (35 percent), karate (34 percent), skateboarding (34 percent), and sport climbing (24 percent).
Landing among the less popular sports among the 40 events was fencing, 23 percent; field hockey, 21 percent; golf, 25 percent; road cycling, 25 percent; rowing, 26 percent; and canoeing, 25 percent.
Among athletes heading to the Olympics, the most popular with respondents were Simone Biles, (gymnastics) 67 percent; followed by Megan Rapinoe (soccer), 41 percent; Katie Ledecky (swimming), 37 percent; Justin Gatlin (track), 27 percent; Simone Manuel (swimming), 27 percent; Sydney McLaughlin (track), 27 percent; Noah Lyles (track), 25 percent; Carissa Moore (surfing), 24 percent; Nylah Huston (skateboarding), 24 percent; Emma Coburn (track), 24 percent; Caeleb Dressel (swimming), 23 percent; and Morgan Hurd (gymnastics), 23 percent.
A separate YouGov survey of 1,000 Americans taken between July 16 and 19 identified swimming, cited by 43 percent, as the favorite Olympic sporting event among those interested in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. That was followed in the top ten by artistic gymnastics, cited by 39 percent; diving, 36 percent; volleyball (beach), 20 percent; basketball, 19 percent; rhythmic gymnastics, 19 percent; boxing, 14 percent; athletics, 12 percent; baseball, 11 percent; and synchronized swimming, 11 percent.
An Axios|Momentive online poll conducted July 14 to 18 among 5,169 U.S. adults explored which countries’ athletes would you root for in the Olympics? The top answer among eight nations was the U.S., cited by 82 percent; Canada, 39 percent; the UK, 35 percent; Mexico, 30 percent; Japan, 27 percent; China, 16 percent; Russia, 16 percent; and Iran, 15 percent.
Photo courtesy Team USA