Americans tend to think the US will do best at Tokyo 2020, but few are interested in the Olympics

Jamie BallardData Journalist
July 21, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics beginning this week, YouGov asked Americans about their interest in the games and how they expect Team USA to fare against other countries this year.  

A YouGov poll of 1,000 US adults shows that about two in five (37%) Americans are interested in this year’s Olympics, with 12% of these saying they are very interested. Those who are 65 or older (47%) are especially likely to say they are interested in the Tokyo Olympics.  

A quarter of Americans expect the US Olympic team to win more medals than any other country  

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the US came in first on the overall medal table with 121 medals in total, 46 of which were gold. Many Americans expect history will repeat itself: 25% think the US will come in first on the overall medal table for the 2020 Olympics as well. Fewer (13%) think the US will come in second place, and 9% expect Team USA to finish in third place.  

Among those who are interested in this year’s Olympic games, 41% expect the US to take home more medals than any other nation. About half as many (21%) foresee the US team coming in second place, and 13% expect this year’s athletes will come in third overall.   

Related: These are America’s favorite Olympic sports  

See the toplines and crosstabs from this YouGov Daily Poll  

Methodology: 1,000 U.S. Citizens, aged 18 and over, were surveyed for this poll on July 16 - 19, 2021. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in Internet panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2016 American Community Study. The sample was weighted based on gender, age, race, education, news interest, and 2016 Presidential vote (or non-vote). The margin of error for the entire sample is 3.6%