Most Popular Olympic Sports (2004)

Here is another good measure of sports popularity using internet traffic, though it only includes Summer Olympic Games sports. The analysis is of internet traffic to each sport section of the IOC website during 2004, which included the period of the Athens Olympic Games.

Since then, after the 2008 Olympics the sports of Baseball and Softball were dropped from the program and in 2016 golf and rugby are set to return. The popularity of sports may have changed since the time this data was collected.

There are a other few lists of the world's popular sports using internet traffic statistics - based on wikipedia sport pages and google search terms. There are also more rankings of popular Olympic Sports, the ranking of most widely played Olympic Sport based on the number of National Federations and the most popular Olympic Sport based on the number of articles published.

Total Page Views to the IOC Website Sections

The table below uses data from the Olympic Program Commission, Report to the 117th IOC Session from 24 May 2005. The data presented is the number of visits to the sport's pages of the IOC website from January 2004 to 11 February 2005. The sport the most visited page is the aquatics page, which includes swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming. This is the same top four sports as the analysis of articles published, though in a different order. This sports ranking is different from the popularity of wikipedia sport pages, reflecting the apparent temporary popularity of sports such as swimming, athletics and gymnastics at Olympic time.

Rank Sport Page Views %
1 Aquatics 431378 10.1
2 Gymnastics 323581 7.6
3 Athletics 308596 7.2
4 Football (Soccer) 178418 4.2
5 Volleyball 176042 4.1
6 Equestrian 171517 4.0
7 Basketball 163954 3.8
8 Cycling 143388 3.4
9 Shooting 134099 3.1
10 Wrestling 128027 3.0
11 Archery 127830 3.0
12 Taekwondo 119570 2.8
13 Modern Pentathlon 106858 2.5
14 Tennis 106297 2.5
15 Fencing 105659 2.5
16 Judo 103671 2.4
17 Weightlifting 101285 2.4
18 Canoe-kayak 95637 2.2
19 Badminton 92591 2.2
20 Handball 91071 2.1
21 Baseball 90840 2.1
22 Field Hockey 87395 2.1
23 Rowing 82834 1.9
24 Sailing 79716 1.9
25 Triathlon 68937 1.9
26 Table Tennis 65159 1.8
27 Softball 59570 1.6
28 Boxing 13920 1.0

Table data source: IOC - Olympic Program Commission, Report to the 117th IOC Session, 24 May 2005.

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