Summer Olympics Bring Awareness to Lesser-Known Sports

We are just over 6 months from when the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro began. For most, the 17 days of the Olympiad provided nightly entertainment. For some, like myself, it was around the clock viewing. This meant I watched sports I was never aware of before like handball and badminton. I, like many others, had to take to the Internet to learn more about the sports and their rules.

With 3.5 billion people worldwide watching, countless sports gained awareness that don’t typically get the attention. Some sports have become Olympic staples that only have the attention every four years. Most notably, these include gymnastics, swimming and both indoor and outdoor volleyball.

Data taken on Feb. 12th, 2017.

By analyzing data from Google Trends, we are able to see the variable changes of the searches in these sports. As you can see in the chart above, the three sports follow a similar pattern, whose spikes coincide with the Summer Olympics in 2012 and 2016. Volleyball can be seen in as the blue, gymnastics as the red and swimming as the yellow.

As expected, these sports fluctuate on their own throughout their year. But as someone who devoted a majority of their life to one of these sports (volleyball), I am thrilled to see the interest grow in the sport, even if it is just once every four years.