Battle of the Sexes Heats Up Over Olympic Games Sport
Aussies agree on swimming, but gymnastics a likely battleground
Some of the toughest competitions during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games may be at home over the television remote control, according to a Visa survey which shows a divergence between Aussie men's and women's interests in Olympic sport.
Of the 4,556 people from the Asia Pacific region who were asked which Olympic sporting events most interested them, swimming, football and gymnastics were the clear overall winners, but scratch the surface and differences between men and women became more apparent.
While Aussie men and women agreed on swimming as their favourite sport (72 percent voted it their top event), it appears the biggest battle will be over gymnastics - including artistic, rhythmic and trampoline - with a 38 percentage point difference between men's interest (28 percent) and women's interest (66 percent). Men preferred watching cycling and soccer.
Chris Clark, Visa's General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, said: "The findings show that while men and women are interested in different events, there is strong interest in the Olympic Games overall. The unifying factor is our passion for sport and that's what helps create the colour and excitement of the Games, and it's why the Olympic Games are such an important event in the global sporting calendar."
Interestingly, the Opening Ceremony is as highly anticipated as the sporting spectacular itself - with 67 percent of Australians naming it the most interesting aspect of the Games, above interest in the national team (44 percent) or sporting personalities (41 percent).
Almost three of four Australian respondents (73 percent) also intend to watch closely medal tally updates to track Australia's efforts, with 30 percent of Australians believing the team will bring home more gold medals then ever before.
Although most people will be tuning into the action on television (88 percent), the internet will also prove popular with one in three respondents (38 percent) relying on online information sources. Apart from their own homes, people will also be watching the Games at the homes of friends and relatives (22 percent), pubs and bars (11 percent) and the office (10 percent).
Clark continued: "The Olympic Games are one of the most watched events in the world, and whether people are tuning in via TV, over the internet or on a mobile, it's now possible to keep in touch with the Games wherever they are."
Visa has been the exclusive payment card and the official payment service of the Olympic Games since 1986 and will continue its category sponsorship through 2012, including the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Visa will be the only card accepted at all Olympic Games venues for official Olympic related transactions.
Aussie women's top five events:
Swimming (80 percent named it as their highest interest)
Gymnastics artistic (61 percent)
Diving (55 percent)
Gymnastics rhythmic (54 percent) and Track and Field (54 percent)
Gymnastics trampoline (44 percent)
Aussie men's top five events:
Swimming (64 percent named it as their highest interest)
Track and Field (48 percent)
Football/soccer (40 percent)
Cycling (38 percent)
Diving (38 percent)