Olympic Games Too Commercial for Americans, Britons and Canadians

Americans, Britons and Canadians hold mixed feelings when assessing specific aspects of the Olympics, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of representative national samples, two thirds of respondents in the three countries (70% in Britain, 68% in the United States and 67% in Canada) think the Olympics have become too commercial.

Americans (36%) are more likely than Canadians (32%) and Britons (30%) to say that the Olympic Games—both summer and winter versions—are more about the sponsors than the athletes.

When asked to use up to five words to describe the International Olympic Committee (IOC), respondents in the three countries included “arrogant” and “secretive” in their top three. One third of Americans and Britons (34% each) believe the IOC is “secretive”, a proportion that climbs to 44 per cent in Canada.

More than half of respondents in the three countries (56% in Britain, 54% in the United States and 54% in Canada) think the inclusion of professional athletes has been positive for the Olympic Games.

Three-in-five respondents (65% in both Canada and Britain, and 63% in the United States) are “very confident” or “moderately confident” that the judges in this year’s Olympics will rule in a fair and honest manner.

The biggest difference in the survey comes when respondents are asked to rate what would constitute success for their national teams. In Canada, 60 per cent of respondents would be content with a top ten finish in the London 2012 overall medal standing—a view shared by 45 per cent of Britons when rating their own team’s performance.

In the United States, 42 per cent of respondents would only refer to the games as “successful” if their team achieves a first place finish in the overall medal standing.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Full Methodology Details:

Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among:

– 1,008 American adults who are Springboard America panelists, from July 26 to July 27, 2012.
– 2,011 British adults who are Springboard UK panelists, from July 31 to August 1, 2012.
– 1,000 Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists, from August 2 to August 3, 2012.

The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/-2.2% for Great Britain and +/-3.1% for the United States and Canada. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of each country.


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