Less than half of Americans know Olympics will be held in RioStaff Writer | August 4, 2016
Forty-eight percent of Americans say they plan to watch a "great deal" or "fair amount" of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Games Interest in watching Olympics tumbles to new low
Fewer Americans are able to identify where the Olympics are taking place than in years past
These results come from a July 13-17 Gallup poll asking Americans about their plans to watch the Olympics, which begin this week in Rio de Janeiro.
Many athletes' decisions to opt out of the games because of concerns about the Zika virus have already blemished the Rio Olympics.
Other controversies have marred the games, including the banishment of the Russian track and field and weightlifting teams due to their widespread drug use.
Reports of rooms in the Olympic Village smelling like gas, along with blocked toilets and exposed wires - as well as accounts of sewage in the waters that athletes will swim and row in - have dominated headlines.
All of these issues may explain why Americans find the idea of watching the Rio Olympics less appealing than previous Summer Games.
Men (49%) and women (47%) have roughly the same interest in watching the Rio Olympics. Yet the decline in interest among women is stark: For the 2012 London Olympics, 63% of women said they planned to watch the Olympics a great deal or fair amount.
Despite controversies in the news about the Rio Olympics, fewer Americans are able to identify where the Olympics are taking place than in years past.
Less than half (46%) know the Olympics will be held in Rio, with an additional 17% correctly identifying Brazil as the host nation.
This is down from 65% who correctly named London as the location for the 2012 Games, in addition to 8% who were partially correct in naming England as the site of the games. ■