Nothing brings the world together like the Olympics. Or, at least in the United States, a single sport at the Winter Olympics.
There are 91 different national federations participating in 15 different sports at this year’s Winter Doctor in Beijing, China. And according to a recent Google trend analysis conducted by travel fringe research firm Upgraded Points, figure skating is – by far – the country’s most sought-after Olympic winter sport, topping search volumes in 23 different U.S. states over the past five years.
Nationwide viewership looks set to match the results: At the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, figure skating was just one of two events with increased viewership compared to the Games in 2014, according to a Vox analysis of NBC data.
According to the International Olympic Committee, figure skating is “synonymous” with international quadrenial competition as the oldest sport in the Winter Olympics, which was first competed in the 1908 Games. It’s also a relative novelty compared to some other sports: viewers are not going to watch figure skating on television very often, while a sport like ice hockey is televised quite often because of the NHL.
Luge was the second most sought-after sport in the analysis, topping the list in nine states. Ice hockey, which ranks third, was most sought after in four states: Arizona, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and curling all received honorable mention. Lots of sports did not get on any state’s most searched list, including skeleton, speedskating and snowboarding.
Some of the popularity seems to be geographically based. Ice hockey fans seem to be mostly gathered in the Northeast, for example. And Luge seems to have a fan base in the southeast that tops searches in Georgia, Alabama and the Mississippi.
In the 2018 Games, figure skaters from Team USA brought home two bronze medals. Team USA hatcher Chris Mazdzer won a silver medal and the American women’s ice hockey team won gold.
If you want to watch this year’s figure skating finals, here’s when they’ll be televised on NBC and Peacock, All Time Eastern:
- Team events for women’s free skate, couples free skate and ice dance free dance: February 6 at. 20.15
- Men’s freestyle: February 9 at. 20.30
- Ice dance free dance: 13 February at 20.15
- Women’s freestyle skating: 17 February at 05.00
- Couple free skate: February 19 at. 06.00
The rest of the sport can also be found on NBC’s television program. This year’s Olympics end on February 20, followed by the Paralympic Games in Beijing next month.
Publication: CNBC Make It parent company NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the US broadcasting rights holder for all summer and winter games until 2032.
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