Are the Winter Olympics relevant in Australia?

Lewi Barnes Roar Rookie

By Lewi Barnes, Lewi Barnes is a Roar Rookie New author!

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    The Winter Olympics have been wrapped up for another four years, and once again, Team Australia’s performance, as well as the relevance of this sporting event to Australians, is under question.

    Sure, many skiing, snowboarding and skating fans would have found these Olympics as fascinating as the previous showings, but in a place of so little snow and such a warm climate, is the Australian Winter Team worth all the money, advertising and time spent?

    In late 2012, the Australian government introduced the ‘Winning Edge’ strategy as a way to fund successful teams on the international stage, especially for Olympic medals.

    However, after much controversy, the program is no longer called the Winning Edge, and has replaced their values with ‘passion’ and ‘national pride and inspiration’.

    The Australian Institute of Sport invested $16 million into the Winter Olympics, which we all can see is part of the old Winning Edge strategy.

    Based on the success of these Aussie competitors domestically, the government donated maximum funding. All for just the return of one bronze and two silver medals. The goals for these games were clearly stated.

    Finish in the top 15. We finished 23rd.

    As a 16-year-old, I tend to scroll the infinity of Facebook and Instagram more often than search the channels on a TV.

    I’m sure that I represent the majority of young adults. Because of this, the effectiveness of advertising of the Winter Olympics on these platforms is tied to the success of the sports that are included.

    A country such as Australia, restrained by a warm climate and a short snow season, must rely on these advertising techniques to appeal to the young generations of sportsmen and women during the competition.

    Scotty James winter olympics

    (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    I do not believe I saw coverage of these Olympics on social media, which leads to a lesser involvement in the support of these sports.

    During my research on this topic, I came across an article exclaiming that, “2018 Winter Olympics Close Out as Least-Watched on Record, Down 7% From Sochi Games”.

    This is what I am talking about. The competition is lacking a presence in the modern day media.

    Sure, reading the newspaper provides an insight into the games – but for teenagers like me, our ‘busy’ schedule only allows enough time to learn what social media tells us.

    Another example of these social media presences is the Summer Olympics. Boys in my high school begged teachers to display Usain Bolt’s 100m race or Michael Phelps’ 50m freestyle on the projector at school.

    I remember watching YouTube videos, highlights and clips on whatever platform I could get my hands on.

    It is a shame that the Winter Olympics does not have the same attraction. Fanatics that pay thousands to ski overseas, or even at Perisher or Thredbo resorts are among the peak of the crowd that these Olympics satisfy but for non-players, they were barely talked or heard about.

    Maybe this is purely because of Australia’s geography and demographics, but for the sake of winter sports staying alive in our country, I hope that the Winter Olympics program manages to keep up with the difficulties of the world stage.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • Roar Guru

      April 5th 2018 @ 6:38am
      peeeko said | April 5th 2018 @ 6:38am | ! Report

      good shot at an article Lewi
      couple of things – the article you quote is for American viewers. Viewing numbers on TV have been declining for over a decade as people like you and me watch and do other things (Computer, social media and Netflix) I also think the American team performed badly and the games were at a bad time slot considering the difference between SK and the USA. Night events were live at 4 am in the morning. I also think people used other devices to watch the events live rather than wait for the TV package that night

      The winter olympics rated very well in Australia but i personally i dont like a lot of public money being spent on athletes. I am happy for them to do well but about watching fun sports with a lot of action. I dont really care where the athletes come from

      • April 5th 2018 @ 6:54am
        John Templeton said | April 5th 2018 @ 6:54am | ! Report

        I think its a cop out to say declining TV numbers are solely due to people “doing other things” or “watching on other platforms.” A lot of the decline is indeed due to the quality of the garbage on offer, in general.

        • Roar Guru

          April 5th 2018 @ 9:52am
          peeeko said | April 5th 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          people like HBO, Foxtel, Showtime and Netflix have big budgets and produce quality shows that can be viewed at anytime. Regular TV cant compete and resorts to showing packaged rubbish and cheap TV which appeals to the LCD.

    • April 5th 2018 @ 6:57am
      Arcturus said | April 5th 2018 @ 6:57am | ! Report

      Personally I love the winter olympics. There are some absolutely thrilling events incorporating athleticism and daring that you don’t see in the regular Olympics. From an investment viewpoint Australia can better spend its money elsewhere, but you can say that about any sports funding.

    • April 5th 2018 @ 7:02am
      bazza said | April 5th 2018 @ 7:02am | ! Report

      It’s great to watch every 4 years and hope they include my sport in it one day.

      I like the skiing events they seem really dangerous and insane which isn’t really true of many summer olympic events except things on the bike and diving is dangerous as well.

      The Cross events are awesome where they racing each other always lots happening.

      The big air jumps are good as well.

    • April 5th 2018 @ 8:14am
      Scuba said | April 5th 2018 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      An Olympics in more or less our timezone had less viewers than Sochi? Try again buddy

      • Roar Guru

        April 5th 2018 @ 8:52am
        peeeko said | April 5th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

        he was using US ratings

    • April 5th 2018 @ 8:41am
      AR said | April 5th 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      Not really.

    • April 5th 2018 @ 10:26am
      Onside said | April 5th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

      More people watch it on TV in Australia than ever visit the snow fields.(a guess)

      I missed the aerial long jumps off the ski ramps this year, thinking perhaps they
      were replaced by single slalom type events, but maybe I just missed the event.

      The Winter Olympics , all good, great viewing , love it.

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