With the 2018 Winter Olympics underway in South Korea, just about 50 per cent of Canadians said they are actually interested in the Pyeongchang Games, according to an Ipsos poll.
According to the Ipsos survey results, though two-in-three Canadians will, at some point, tune in to catch some of the Olympic competition, 53 per cent of those surveyed said they are interested in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Another 37 per cent said they were “somewhat” interested while 16 per cent said they were “very” interested in the Games.
Similarly, just over half (55 per cent) of Americans quizzed in the poll said they were interested in the Olympics, while those in India were the most keen on the Games with 73 per cent saying they were interested, besting host country South Korea at 71 per cent in terms of interest.
The survey quizzed 20,574 adults, including 999 Canadians, in 27 countries around the world between Dec. 22, 2017 and Jan. 5, 2018.
With the Games taking place in South Korea, Canadians are faced with a lengthy time difference (14 hours ahead of Eastern Time), leading to 13 per cent of respondents saying they will skip work to catch some of the Games, compared to 17 per cent in the U.S.
WATCH: Team Canada’s Olympic medal hopes for men’s hockey
Moreover, residents in Turkey (54 per cent) and India (53 per cent) were more likely to skip work to watch the Olympics.
As for the events Canadians are planning to watch closely? Hockey.
According to the poll, for those that are at least “somewhat” interested in the Olympics, 46 per cent said they will closely follow hockey. The results show that Canadians are more likely to watch hockey than Sweden (32 per cent), Russia (29 per cent) and the U.S. (16 per cent).
Another 19 per cent said they will cheer on Canada’s flag-bearers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, as they go for gold in figure skating.
Here are the other events Canadians said they will watch closely:
Snowboarding: 6 per cent
Curling: 5 per cent
Ski jumping: 4 per cent
Speedskating: 4 per cent
Freestyle skiing: 3 per cent
Alpine skiing: 2 per cent
Bobsleigh: 2 per cent
Luge: 2 per cent
Short-track speedskating: 2 per cent
Biathlon: 1 per cent
Cross-country skiing: 1 per cent
Nordic combined: 1 per cent
Some other sport: 3 per cent
Last month, an international data analytics company predicted that Team Canada will haul in a record 33 medals, including men’s hockey gold, at the Winter Olympics. Gracenote projected Canada to place third in total medals, besting the U.S. at 29 medals. Germany and Norway were projected to nab more medals than Canada.
The 2018 Winter Olympics run from Feb. 9 to Feb. 25.
The Ipsos poll was conducted between Dec. 22, 2017 and Jan. 5, 2018 using a sample of 20,574 adults, including 999 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. In this case, with a poll of 999, accurate to within +/ – 3.5 percentage points.