We Know the Open Web’s Most Popular Sports at this Year’s Winter Olympics

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The 2018 Winter Olympics just came to a close and the world has a lot of memories—Germans Savchenko and Massot earned the highest score ever in pairs free skate, American Shaun White won the 100th winter Olympic gold for snowboarding, we saw a unified Korean hockey team, and countless more.

As these Olympic Games marked many historical and culture milestones for the world, we wanted to know which sports internet readers found the most interesting—and we found some surprises.

We compared all of this year’s sports—alpine skating, biathlon, bobsleigh, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, freestyle skating, ice hockey, luge, nordic combined, short track speed skating, skeleton ski jumping, snowboarding, and speed skating.

Below, we show the top sports by their total number of sessions, and the total time spent in minutes, with articles that included the sport in the title each day, worldwide. The data was pulled during the 2018 Winter Olympics, from January 8th, 2018 and to February 11th, 2018.

Ranked by average number of sessions, these are the Olympic winners:

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Figure Skating and Ice Hockey dwarfed the rest of the competition in sessions this Winter Olympics

When it comes to the sport that readers clicked on the most these Olympic Games, the tried and true favorite, figure skating, takes the gold. With over 150 million sessions during the Olympics, it’s a clear winner for this year.

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Following close behind figure skating this year was ice hockey, with over 120 million views. The overwhelming interest in the sport this year could have been affected by the US women’s hockey shootout win over Canada, as well as the North Korean and South Korean teams’ decision to play together—an emotional experience which Newsweek reported drew tears from the eyes of the players themselves.

Falling behind were snowboarding, luge, curling, bobsleigh, nordic combined, cross country skiing and speed skating respectively.

Open web readers engaged well with articles on snowboarding and curling.

Although there was a huge gap in the number of sessions and engagement between our winners and the rest, there was high engagement with other sports.

Sports fans also spent a significant amount of time with snowboarding and curling.

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The buzz and engagement around snowboarding likely has a lot to do with Shaun White’s historic performance; he won a third gold medal for himself and a 100th for the US, reported CNN.

The high engagement metrics for curling are most likely due to what was an incredible upset by the US Men’s curling team, who stood on the verge of a “third straight Olympic disaster with Shuster as skip (team captain),” according to TIME, but they were able to turn it around and walked away with the gold for the first time.

Following curling and snowboarding, we also saw high engagement for luge, bobsleigh, speed skating, nordic combined and cross country skiing.  

Congrats to all of the winners—on the ice and on the web—looking forward to 2022!