NATIONAL PULSE – Passing on Pyeongchang? We want the NHL back in


February 7, 2018 –  The Olympic hockey tournament has been home to some of the most iconic moments in Canadian sports history. Whether it’s the lore of the Lucky Loonie and a 50-year drought-ending win from Salt Lake City in 2002, or Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal from Vancouver in 2010, Canadians have enjoyed some great history over the two decades since the International Olympic Committee voted to allow professional athletes to compete in the games in 1998.

This year, for the first time since that decision, there will be no NHL players participating. A new Angus Reid Institute study finds most Canadians saying the competition has lost much of it’s lustre as a result of this change. Further, one-in-five hockey viewers say they’re not going to watch at all this time around.

The news isn’t all bad for Olympic broadcast partners. Four-in-ten (40%) hockey viewers say they’re just as enthusiastic for an amateur-only tournament, and interest levels for the Winter Games overall have ticked up slightly. Overall, 58 per cent of Canadians say they’ll be following the games this month.

More Key Findings:

  • One-third (36%) of Canadians say they were not going to watch the Olympic hockey tournament at all. Among those who were or are going to tune in, 40 per cent say the lack of NHL players will not change the way they watch the tournament, while 43 per cent say they’re still going to tune in, but they won’t care as much.
  • Quebecers lead the way in interest for the Olympic Games overall. 62 per cent within that province say they will be tuning in while Albertans and Atlantic Canadians are least likely to say they’ll be watching – half say they will and half say they won’t.

Link to the poll here:

About Mel Rothenburger (9224 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on NATIONAL PULSE – Passing on Pyeongchang? We want the NHL back in

  1. The Olympics has become an example of excess. Wasteful spending on fancy buildings that may never be used again, obscene amounts of money paid to the IOC, and the list goes on & on. All of this is done at the expense of the poor, healthcare money, and no help for seniors because the money has been spent on parties. It is far past time for the Olympics to just disappear as they don’t mean what they used to. And by the way, when has the Fraser Institute ever had its finger of anything but their wallets ?

  2. Ken McClelland // February 7, 2018 at 8:23 AM // Reply

    The Olympics have lost their appeal for me due to state-sponsored systemic cheating, and the IOC waffling in the face of proof of cheating. The athletes themselves seem to be the least of the IOC’s concern. Those that do compete fairly, particularly in endurance and strength sports, and that play by the rules must be very discouraged by the overturning of the ban on proven cheaters. Once again, we’re going to end up watching another Olympics with a jaundiced eye, wondering if the medalists won fair and square or not. I really feel for the athletes that compete fairly, because they are being handicapped by the courts that have now more or less said “anything goes” in athletic competition. Steroids, blood-doping, pick your poison (literally) may bring brief glory in the short term, but are not worth it in the long run. The great sports writer Jim Taylor spoke re steroids/drugs and cheating in sport at a Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame banquet some years ago and asked “what do all the great Russian weighlifters of the 1960’s and 70’s have in Common? They’re all dead.”

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