Figure skating is by far the most popular Winter Olympic sport, with 24 percent citing it as their favorite. A mixed team event was added this year in figure skating, which has competitive events on 11 of the Olympics’ 18 days.
Ice hockey is a distant second at 6 percent, followed by Alpine skiing and snowboarding at 4 percent each. Forty-six percent of respondents say they have no preference.
Among those planning to watch or follow, the percentage identifying figure skating as their favorite rises to 35 percent.
There’s a gender gap, however, with 55 percent of women who plan to watch calling figure skating their favorite, compared with 15 percent of men.
Among men, ice hockey runs even with figure skating; 16 percent call it their favorite.
While 45 percent of senior citizens who plan to watch say figure skating is their favorite, that falls to 24 percent for people under 40. Snowboarding tops the list for 12 percent under age 40.
Speedskating is the favorite of 11 percent of nonwhites but just 3 percent of whites.
The AP-GfK Poll was conducted using KnowledgePanel, GfK’s probability-based online panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. It involved online interviews with 1,060 adults, and had a sampling error margin of plus-or-minus 3.9 percentage points for the full sample.
Respondents were first selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods and were later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided with the ability to access the Internet at no cost to them.