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.
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.