British public keen for Athletics success in Olympic year
Paul Dancey on 27/06/2012
With one month to go until the start of the London Olympic Games, a UK Sport report has revealed that athletics is the number one sport in which the public would like to see the UK achieving international success.
The 'Sporting Preferences' research, conducted eight times over the past 12 years around major sporting events, discovered public appetite for Olympic sport is high as the Games approach.
Athletics at 19% proved to be the sport the British public would most like to see success in, closely followed by football at 18%, then Rugby at 10%, with Swimming at 9% and Tennis and Cycling both at 6%.
Athletics is also the sport most people would like to see GB win medals in at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, rating this just ahead of swimming and cycling for the Olympics, and swimming and wheelchair basketball for the Paralympics.
The first Olympic and Paralympic Games to be staged in the UK for over 60 years, London 2012 will be the most significant sporting event the country has ever seen, with the Olympic opening ceremony alone set to be watched by a global audience of four billion people.
UK Sport Chief Executive Liz Nicholl said: "A home Olympic and Paralympic Games is a once in a lifetime opportunity for athletes, their coaches and support staff, but it also represents a fantastic opportunity for the general public to feel engaged with sport and proud of their athletes' success.
"This summer the British public can feel especially proud of the role they have played in supporting our athletes. Funding from The National Lottery, as well as from the Exchequer and Team 2012, has allowed UK Sport to invest £313million in our Olympic and Paralympic sports for the London cycle (2009-13), ensuring we will have one of the best supported, best prepared teams at London 2012."
The research, carried out in early May with nearly 2,600 adults aged 16+, sought the public's views about sport in this Olympic and Paralympic year. This was the eighth time UK Sport had commissioned 'Sporting Preferences', which has gauged public opinion in the periods immediately before and after the Sydney, Athens and Beijing Games and, in 2002, following the Manchester Commonwealth Games.
The full report will be published on the UK Sport website following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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