Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 23, 2012 08:30 PM
A survey conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and the school's Center for Sports Communication has found 80 percent of Americans surveyed plan to watch at least some part of the Olympics, which begin Friday in London.
The number was lowest in the under-30 age group, but even that demographic showed 74 percent of respondents would watch some of the Olympics. It was highest in the over-60 group, at 84 percent.
The survey also revealed a number of interesting statistics, including:
- Watching Americans win medals was more important than watching athletes set records (50 percent to 43 percent)
- China was viewed as the top competition for the US in the medals race at 41 percent. Next was Russia (15), followed by Canada (8) and Great Britain and Australia (7 percent each)
- Gymnastics (30 percent) was the sport respondents were most looking forward to watching, followed by swimming (23), track (18) and basketball (11).
- Michael Phelps was a landslide winner (50 percent) as male athlete who will be the biggest star of the games. LeBron James was second at 17 percent.
- Serena Williams was the women's biggest star winner at 43 percent, followed by soccer player Hope Solo (11), sprinter Lolo Jones (9) and gymnast Jordan Wieber (7).
- More than 61 percent of those surveyed plan to watch the Olympics only on television.
Follow the Olympics on your phone at m.boston.com