The top 5 Olympic Sports We only Care about during the Olympics

During the London 2012 Olympic Games 26 different sports were played and these sports were divided into 39 disciplines. The Games took place last year from 27 July to 12 August. Interest was high as approximately four billion people world wide caught at least a glimpse of the event on television. They watched sports ranging from handball to football and fencing to archery.

The event triggered a tremendous increase in Google searches for the sports being played. One year later, are we still interested in the sports or have the Olympics failed to deliver on their legacy?

For the following five sports, the answer is no, no, no:

5: Weightlifting 

Weightlifting [graph 1]

Weightlifting at the Olympics took place from 28 July to 7 August. From the 260 athletes that took part, fifteen competitors were awarded with a gold medal. 156 men took part and 104 women. China was the most successful at the sport, capturing a total of seven medals. With five of them being gold and two silver. Kazakhstan was runner up with four gold medals followed by North Korea, who seized three gold medals and one bronze. Among the winners were Behdad Salimikordasiabi, Zhou Lulu and Om Yun Chol. Do these names sound familiar? Probably not: our interest in weightlifting decreased tremendously after the games.

4: Water Polo

Water polo [graph 2]

Water Polo took place in the Olympic Park’s Water Polo Arena from 29 July to 12 August. Twenty teams competed for a medal, of which twelve men’s and eight women’s teams. In the men’s tournament Croatia became the champions. Italy came in second and the third place went to Serbia. In the women’s tournament the United States seized the gold medal. Spain won silver and the bronze went to Australia. If you forgot that Australia beat Hungary in the battle for the third place don’t feel embarrassed as the graph above shows that we are not greatly interested in water polo anyway.

3: Beach Volleyball

Beach volleyball [graph 3]

Beach volleyball took place from 28 July to 12 August. The steep ascent in total searches indicates an enormous increase in the interest for Beach Volleyball during these dates. The decrease in interest is just as sharp as the increase. This graph tells us: we love beach volleyball during the Olympics but don’t care about it afterwards. In the tournament 24 pairs were competing. In the men’s competition Germany went home with the gold, Brazil took away the silver and Latvia seized the bronze. In the women’s competition first and second place went to USA and third to Brazil.

beach volleyball booty

2. Synchronised Swimming

Synchronized swimming [graph 4]

Synchronized swimming is one of those classic Olympic sports. The sport started on 5 August and ended five days later. It took place in the London Aquatics Centre. Two different events were included in synchronised swimming: women’s team and women’s duet. 104 women participated. Russia was by far the most successful in this sport capturing two gold medals. China and Spain both won one silver and one bronze medal.

1: Modern Pentathlon

Modern pentathlon [graph 5]


Modern Pentathlon. Modern what? Does anyone know what modern pentathlon is? Don’t think so… Let’s have a look at that first then. Modern pentathlon is a sport contest that consists of five different events: fencing, pistol shooting, horse show jumping, swimming and cross country running. It took place during the Olympics on 11 and 12 August. 72 athletes entered the competition: 36 men and 36 women. The men’s event was won by David Svoboda, from the Czech Republic. The women’s event was won by Laura Asadauskaitė from Lithuania.

So there you go. Only during the Olympics do we care about weightlifting, water polo, beach volleyball, synchronised swimming and modern pentathlon.

  • What other sports do you watch ONLY during the Olympics?
  • What Olympic sports do you watch year-round?

Research is commissioned by Paycare, a leading health insurance company in the United Kingdom.

Rens van der Windt

Rens van der Windt is a gym rat and digital media executive from London.

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