Canadians Will Watch the Games in Sochi: Eager for Gold Medals

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According to Vice-President Megan Tam “We saw an amazing degree of national enthusiasm for the Games we hosted in Vancouver and we shouldn’t expect Canadians to get quite that engaged for any other Winter Olympics. That being said, a majority of Canadians anticipate following the games in Sochi and there is clearly some sense of national competitiveness demonstrated with the attitudes expressed about the importance of winning certain gold medals or even the most overall again.”

 

 

A small majority of Canadians intend to follow the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Nationally, 58% say they will follow the Olympics very (23%) or somewhat (35%) closely. This is lower than what we observed in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics, held in Vancouver. In 2010, almost seven in ten (69%) said they’d be following the Vancouver Olympics closely.

Although many Canadians say they will follow the Games, it will likely be the same, or less attention that they paid in comparison to the Games in 2010 in Vancouver. Indeed, four in ten (41%) say they’ll pay a little less (23%) or a lot less (18%) attention to the Sochi Olympics than they did to the last Winter Olympics. An additional 49% say they’ll pay about the same amount of attention to these Olympics.

Even among those who plan to follow these Olympics closely, 28% say they’ll pay less attention to these Olympics than the 2010 Games in Vancouver, compared to 14% who say they’ll pay more attention to these Games.

  • Residents of BC are more likely than others to say they will be paying “a lot less” attention to the Sochi Games in comparison to the 2010 Olympics.
     

When comparing Canadians’ intentions for 2014 Games to the last summer Olympics (London 2012), almost one in four (23%) say they’ll pay more attention to these Olympics than the 2012 Summer Games in London. A further 48% say they will pay about the same amount of attention to these Games as the ones in London, while 27% will pay less attention.

  • Among those who intend to follow the Olympics closely, 35% will pay more attention to these Olympics than the ones in London, while 11% will pay less attention. A majority (54%) will pay the same amount of attention to these Olympics.

Determining success at the Olympics can be measured in a number of ways, and this is demonstrated in our survey results. Participants were prompted on the importance of six areas of the Olympics and each aspect was deemed at least somewhat important by a majority of Canadians. Having said that, Canadians place the most importance of determining the success of the Games on having no security threats. Nationally, 83% say it is very (59%) or somewhat (24%) important that there are no security threats in Sochi during the Olympics. This is lower than the level recorded ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics: 70% said it was very important and another 18% felt it was somewhat important that there be no security threats during the Games.

  • Those who intend to follow the Olympics closely, those over the age of 35, and those outside of Quebec are more likely to say having no security threats in Sochi is important in determining the success of the 2014 Olympics.

Canadians tie Olympic success with results in the hockey rink. Almost three in four (73%) feel Canada wining gold in men’s hockey is important in determining the success of the Games, including 39% who feel it is very important.

  • In 2010, 71% felt winning gold in men’s hockey was important in determining the success of the Games.
  • This feeling is particularly pronounced among those who intend to follow the Games closely. Among this group, fully 86% feel winning gold in men’s hockey is important in determining the success of the Olympics.

More than seven in ten (71%) feel winning gold in women’s hockey is important in determining the success of the Games.

  • These numbers are similar to 2010, when 68% felt that winning gold in women’s hockey would be important in determining the success of the Games.
  • Fully 85% of those who will follow the Games closely say winning gold in women’s hockey is important in determining the success of the Olympics.

Seven in ten (70%) feel it’s important there be no organizational problems that could give the Olympics a black eye on the world stage.
 

  • This feeling was more prevalent in 2010 when 79% said it was important there be no organizational problems in determining the success of the Olympics.
  • More than four in five (81%) of those who will follow the Olympics closely say it’s important there be no organizational problems with the Olympics.

More than six in ten (63%) say it’s important Canada finish in the top-3 in medals.

  • These numbers mirror what was recorded in 2010, when 64% said finishing in the top 3 in total medals won was important in determining the success of the Games.
  • 73% of those who intend to follow the Olympics say such a result is important.
  • Those over the age of 50 are more likely than those younger to feel such a result is important in determining the success of the Games.

Lastly, a majority (58%) feels that Canada winning more medals than any other country will be important in determining the success of the Olympics.

  • In 2010, 52% felt it was important that Canada win more medals than any other country in determining the success of the Games.
  • Almost two in three (65%) who intend to follow the Games closely say Canada winning more medals than any other country is important in determining the success of the Olympics.

Almost six in ten (58%) say they would consider the Olympics a success if Canada won the gold in men’s hockey, but didn’t win more medals than any other country.

  • In January of 2010, 53% said the Games would be a success if this were to happen, while in October 2009, this number was 60%.
  • More than six in ten (64%) who intend to follow the Olympics closely say the Games would be a success under this scenario.
  • Those with household incomes below $100k/year are more likely than their counterparts to consider the Games a success if this were to happen.

Data was collected using computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) via the Harris/Decima teleVox omnibus. Overall, 1,015 completes were collected nationally between January 9 and January 13, 2014. The sample consists of 80% landline and 20% cell phone respondents, with quotas by gender (50/50 split) and by region. The data is weighted in tabulation to replicate actual population distribution by age and gender within region according to the 2011 Census data. This survey is considered accurate to a margin of plus or minus 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.