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A Rundown of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics came and went, and were loaded with drama across nearly every event. Whether it involved The US Men’s Basketball Team redeeming themselves in the Olympic Finals against France, Katie Ledecky continuing to dominate across multiple swimming events, or Simone Biles deciding to sit out of several Gymnastics events to prioritize her mental health, the 2020 Olympics were able to keep the world entertained despite being a year delayed. We‘ll cover how these Olympic Games stack up against other major sporting events from the past year, look at what events were able to drive the highest rates of Emotional Reactions and Passion, and which athletes were the talk of the Olympic Games.

Summary

  • The 2020 Tokyo Olympics dominated the sports world, earning more Emotional Reactions or Total Tweets than any other major sports event over the past year
  • Gymnastics, Basketball, and Track and Field were the most popular events during the Olympic Games, with most conversation centered around fans showing support for Simone Biles’ decision to sit out of several Gymnastics events for the sake of her mental health
  • Female athletes dominated the conversation during the 2020 Olympic Games, earning 8 of the 10 spots among the most discussed athletes during these Olympics
Source: Canvs Explore, Highest Performing Major Sports Events
Source: Canvs Explore, Highest Performing Major Sports Events

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics outperformed all major sporting events over the past year

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics outperformed all other major sporting events over the past year, earning 2.2M Emotional Reactions, and nearly 6.4M Total Tweets over the duration of the games. This ranks first in both categories against all major sporting events in the past year.

  • The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were also able to generate the third-highest Reaction Rate when compared to all major sporting events over the past year, indicating an engaged and passionate audience during the 2020 Olympic Games. 
  • Compared to all major events in the past year, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were second overall, earning slightly fewer Emotional Reactions than the 2021 Grammy Awards
Source: Canvs Explore, 2020 Tokyo Olympics Airings
Source: Canvs Explore, 2020 Tokyo Olympics Airings

Conversation during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was dominated by Gymnastics, Basketball, and Track and Field events

The highest performing airing during the Olympics came when Simone Biles had an issue on one of her vaults, leading to her withdrawing from all other events until her return in the balance beam. Simone Biles drove 65% of the conversation around the airing, and despite her being the face of the US Olympic Team, fans were overwhelmingly supportive of her decision to prioritize her mental health over a potential injury.

Emotional Reactions directed at Simone Biles during the vault event include love (54% of Simone Biles Emotional Reactions), enjoy (9% of Simone Biles Emotional Reactions), and crazy (4% of Simone Biles Emotional Reactions). While 17% of Emotional Reactions surrounding Simone Biles showed dislike, most of these Emotional Reactions were from people defending Simone Biles from online messages attacking her.

Verbatims:

  • Love: I’m rooting hard for Simone Biles and if you’re not I don’t want to hear about it
  • Dislike: If you don’t respect Simone Biles I don’t respect you
  • Enjoy: I’m proud of Simone Biles. Protect your mental health at all costs.
  • Crazy: Simone Biles will not compete in the individual all-around competition. Wow.

The US Men’s Basketball team winning gold was able to drive the second-highest levels of Emotional Reactions during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After falling to France in their first game, the US Men’s Basketball Team was able to rally around their leader and strongest player Kevin Durant to sweep the rest of the tournament and defeat France in the Gold Medal Game. Kevin Durant drove 20% of the conversation during this game, with many claiming that he carried the US Men’s Basketball Team to Gold in this Olympics.

Kevin Durant Verbatims:

  • Y’know how in elementary school everyone thanks the bus driver when they get off the bus to go into to school? That’s how the team should treat Kevin Durant during the medal ceremony. Just, one by one: “Thanks, Kevin.”
  • Man Kevin Durant is pretty good at that whole basketball thing
  • This gold metal is all Kevin Durant! #Gold Medal Game
Source: Canvs Explore, Top Drivers during Tokyo Olympics
Source: Canvs Explore, Top Drivers during Tokyo Olympics

Top US Female Athletes Dominated Conversations during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Occupying 8 of the top 10 Drivers during the Olympics

Unsurprisingly, the conversation around Simone Biles was nearly double the next most discussed athlete during the 2020 Olympic Games, largely due in part to her decision to skip several Gymnastic events for her mental health.

Other top drivers include Allyson Felix and Sydney McLaughlin, both part of the US Women’s 4×400 Relay Team which won gold, star of the US Women’s Swim team Katie Ledecky, and NBA Superstar and leader of the US Men’s Basketball team Keven Durant.

Verbatims:

  • Simone Biles: I support Simone Biles. Hugs girl. You’re an American hero.
  • Allyson Felix: No words, @allysonfelix is amazing! 🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥈🥈🥈🥉
  • Sydney McLaughlin: And the second gold from a NJ girl in the past 24 hours! You’re amazing @GoSydGo.
  • Katie Ledecky: KATIE LEDECKY IS THE GREATEST SWIMMER / HUMAN OF ALL TIME. THAT HIGH FIVE WITH KATIE GRIMES.
  • Kevin Durant: KEVIN DURANT IS EASILY THE BEST BASKETBALL PLAYER ON PLANET EARTH.

Each week Canvs produces the OTT Power Rankings based on Canvs EQ, the most impactful measure of Emotional Engagement for OTT programs. Subscribe today to receive the top 100 programs in your inbox every Monday.

Canvs emotion measurement consists of 42 core emotions proprietary to the Canvs platform, which identifies through public comments how viewers are reacting to airings. Canvs is the easiest and most accurate Customer Insights platform to instantly analyze open-ended text, going beyond traditional sentiment analysis to provide best-in-class emotion and topical measurement.