The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games were, arguably, the most captivating and successful Olympics in Canadian history. Canadians, coast to coast, got behind their athletes and tuned into the Games, embodying the “I Believe” campaign. Two years later, Canadians have maintained their enthusiasm and plan to follow the London 2012 Olympic Games closely.
According to Harris/Decima Vice-President Patricia Thacker, “even though the Olympics are not being held on Canadian soil, interest and support remains very high. Canadians, undoubtedly, have tremendous Olympic spirit.”
Two thirds of Canadians know where the 2012 Olympic Games will be held this summer and expect to watch them closely. While this is in line with the results captured by Harris/Decima before the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, the intensity of Canadians’ intentions are somewhat lower; two in ten plan to watch the London 2012 Olympic Games very closely versus three in ten pre-Vancouver. Looking at regional differences, British Columbians and Ontarians have significantly higher awareness and intention-to-watch levels than the rest of Canada. While the sporting events are the biggest draw for Canadians, viewing intentions are also high for the opening, closing and medal presentation ceremonies.
Awareness of Canada’s Olympic funding program, Own the Podium, is much greater going into the London 2012 Olympic Games than it was prior to the Vancouver 2010 Games. “In 2009, less than one quarter of Canadians knew what Own the Podium was, but after its success in Vancouver, awareness has almost doubled,” according to Ms. Thacker. Regionally, awareness is highest in British Columbia and Ontario and lowest in Quebec.
In terms of support, seven in ten Canadians support using tax dollars to fund Own the Podium. Despite the rise in awareness of the program, the level of support is consistent with pre-Vancouver results. Own the Podium’s goal for the London 2012 Olympic Games is for Canada to place in the top 12 nations in overall medal count; seven in ten Canadians think it is important that we do. Ontarians have the highest level of support for the program and also place the greatest amount of importance on accomplishing its goal.
Each week, Harris/Decima interviews just over 1,000 Canadians through teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus survey. The most recent data was gathered between May 24th and 27th, 2012. The margin of error for this sample size is 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.