Here’s what people are Googling during the Olympics

People have a lot of questions during the Olympic Games, and often they turn to Google for answers. –CHRISTIAN BRUNA/EPA

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How old is Chloe Kim?

What does the Olympic Torch represent?

Why are the Olympic Rings linked?

People have questions about the Games, and when they have them, the turn to Google. The result is that a quick examination of Google trends can reveal a few things about what people are thinking and paying attention to.

Search terms such as “curling lessons’’ and “is skeleton dangerous’’ have reached peak interest, meaning that more people are Googling those things now than they’d ever been expected to. Most of the results show, perhaps predictably, a mix of interest between high-profile athletes and events and the every-four-year curiosities.


As of Wednesday, the most-searched sports in the US over the previous 24 hours were snowboarding, curling, figure skating, and luge — in that order.

In general, people have asked a lot of questions about curling.

Curling stones, by the way, are made out of polished granite. And yes, I did have to Google that.

Snowboarding’s supremacy midweek might have been the product of early gold medals from Americans Kim and Shaun White, both recognizable athletes who put together spectacular runs. Kim was the most-Googled athlete in the US on Monday.

That meant she’d surpassed White, who’d been in first since the start of the Games.

Over the past week, Americans have been most interested in figure skating, as have Googlers in Russia, China, Australia, Spain, and many other nations.

In some other countries, interest correlated with the sports those countries excel in. The top-searched sport in Canada? Curling, of course. In the Netherlands? Speedskating, in which, according to the Guardian, the Dutch have won 111 of their total 117 Winter Olympic medals.

Some of the smaller countries approach the Olympics with greater zeal.

Overall, the United States ranked 16th on Google’s list of countries that have shown the most interest in the Games on the search engine. Norway, Czechia (the renamed Czech Republic), Slovakia, Sweden, and Canada made up the top five.


Oh, and by the way, Kim is 17, the Olympic Torch represents the original Olympics in ancient Greece where, as legend has it, the sun lit the first torch and kept it ablaze for the duration of the Games, and the Olympic Rings are linked to represent the coming together of five geographic regions (North and South America, Australia, Africa, Europe, and Asia) in the spirit of competition. If you want to know more? Google it.

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