Watching the Olympics Can Become Slightly Addictive

Watching the Olympics can become slightly addictive

Team GB Rio Olympics

Yes, we can admit that watching the Olympics can become slightly addictive, a spot of gymnastics whilst finishing your coffee, or some casual synchronized swimming after dinner. You might not have cared much for Taekwondo before, but all of a sudden you’re hooked.

Team GB made us proud in Rio this year by finishing second and keeping the nation gripped with their winning performances. But wouldn’t it be interesting to see if this sporting prowess has rubbed off on us non-Olympians, in the UK?

To explore Olympic fever further we take a look at this infographic by Science in Sport about participation in sport across the UK.

Sidenote: For extra inspiration some of our fellow Olympians are interviewed to find out their proudest moments and who their sporting heroes are. Additionally, the country is broken down into regions to explore the rise in sport participation over the last 9 years. Basically, who is getting off the sofa more, the North or the South?

The great news is, nearly 2 million more adults are playing regular sport and Londoners win gold for partaking in the most weekly exercise, playing sport at least 3 times a week. We’ll cut the North East some slack, they do have the lowest rise in sport out of any other region in the UK, but who wants to head to the athletic tracks in blustery wind and rain? That lack of participation could definitely be down to the cold weather. Saying that though, East Anglia isn’t far behind, what’s their excuse?

On the topic of Athletics, if someone asked you to guess the UK’s 2nd most popular sport, Athletics probably wouldn’t spring to mind. But fascinatingly, it is, and has 2.3 million people taking part across the UK. Mind how you go, that’s a lot of javelins and shot puts being sprung into the air as we speak!

Rowing is definitely something we’ve always been familiar with, but isn’t it one of those sports that just seems so hard to take up? Apparently not for the 11,500 people who signed up for their first ever rowing membership after the 2012 London Olympics. It’s not surprising, considering we won the most gold’s out of any other country. The same thing happened again this year in Rio with Great Britain winning 4 gold medals in rowing, closely behind Cycling track as the star event. Looks like the rowing memberships will continue to soar in the UK, especially if rowing hero Alex Gregory continues to sweep us into victory.

Chris Hoy has won more gold medals than any other British athlete and it’s safe to say he’s given cycling a good rep. 4 million people cycle at least once a week and 500,000 more people have taken it up since 2005. Whether this is a leisurely bike ride through the park, cycling to work, or more strenuous road cycling, 3.7 million adults are doing this 3 or more times a week. That’s a lot of pedal power people!

Chris Hoy has won more gold medals than any other British athlete

The Olympics have a large part to play in this rise of sport and exercise over the years. Not only because of the games itself exposing us to more sport and competition but the actual athlete’s taking part inspire us with their commitment and strength. Suddenly all these Olympians on our screens become national heroes and role models, making sport look cooler for young hopefuls and instilling in us an urge to take part, even if it’s going for a run or cycling to work. It has to be said that it’s also an exciting time for the Paralympic athletes, and without doubt they’re inspiring the nation.

Rachael Wardle

Rachael is the creator of homewares marketplace, who loves to travel and discovering and championing independent brands and designers from the interior world. She's a regular blogger for interior & lifestyle, as well as beauty brands and much to her boyfriend’s dismay, has an ever-growing cushion collection!