How patriotic will Americans feel this Olympics?

Team USA.
(Image credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

As the long-awaited Tokyo Olympics kick off on Friday, Americans appear to, unsurprisingly, share majority support for Team USA, per a new poll from Axios/Momentive. However, a deeper dive reveals fissures among the American public on a variety of other Olympics-related topics.

Eighty-two percent of respondents plan to rally behind Team USA while they go for gold. Second-place support falls to Canada, with 39 percent, and third-place goes to the U.K., with 35 percent. Over half of Americans expect to feel some sense of pride – or "a very positive" reaction — when they see the stars and stripes in Tokyo, but that breaks down to just 39 percent of 18-to-24 year olds. Notably, a majority of adults aged 45 and older expect to feel the patriotism lacking among younger audiences, per Axios.

Slightly under half of Americans — 47 percent — support Olympic athletes "taking stands on social justice issues," writes Axios. On that topic, however, there is both an age and partisan divide. Sixty-nine percent of respondents aged 18-to-24 and 77 percent of Democrats support athlete protests; 79 percent of Republicans disapprove.

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Ultimately, about half of the U.S. believes it important to bring home the most medals this year, but polling suggests the viewers back home will play nice — "most Americans will be cheering for U.S. athletes and not against anyone," Axios writes.

Axios/Momentive surveyed 5,169 adults from July 14-18, 2021. Results have a margin of error of two percentage points. See more results at Axios.

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Brigid Kennedy

Brigid is a staff writer at The Week and a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Her passions include improv comedy, David Fincher films, and breakfast food. She lives in New York.