Feb 9th, 2018
This week, we’re going to be… skiing and shooting targets? That’s a real thing? In the Olympics?! ANYWAY, we’re talking about fans about all the Olympics: Winter, Summer, Para- you name it!
Next week, the cavalry’s here! We’ll be talking about fans… of Overwatch!
History and Origins:
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics … are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.
Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, leading to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. …
The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games. Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Olympic Games for ice and winter sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with a disability, and the Youth Olympic Games for teenage athletes. The Deaflympics and Special Olympics are also endorsed by the IOC. The IOC has had to adapt to a variety of economic, political, and technological advancements.
— Wikipedia - Olympic Games
As a fandom, Olympics fandom appears highly periodic, which is not surprising. The largest spikes in interest in the Olympics occurred in…
- August 2004 (Summer Olympics: Athens, Greece)
- February 2006 (Winter Olympics: Turin, Italy)
- August 2008 (Summer Olympics: Beijing, China)
- February 2010 (Winter Olympics: Vancouver, Canada)
- August 2012 (Summer Olympics: London, UK)
- February 2014 (Winter Olympics: Sochi, Russia)
- August 2016 (Summer Olympics: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
(In order of popularity: Summer 2008, Summer 2016, Summer 2004, Summer 2012, Winter 2014, Winter 2010, Winter 2006)
It would appear that Winter Olympics are less popular, but are growing in popularity, whereas Summer Olympic popularity depends highly on the location.
In terms of interest by region, the top 10 countries in order are: China, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Iran, Uruguay, Hong Kong, United States, Japan.
Size of Fandom:
Let’s take a look at some of the data we have:
- 510k: Number of attendees to the 2016 Summer Olympics (10 500 athletes and 500 000 travellers) (People - 4,900 Medals and 6,000 Hours of TV: The Rio Olympics by the Numbers)
- 9 million: Number of tickets sold for the 2012 Summer Olympics (CNN - London Olympics by the numbers)
- 3.6 billion: Number of people expected to watch the 2016 Summer Olympics worldwide (People - 4,900 Medals and 6,000 Hours of TV: The Rio Olympics by the Numbers)
Based on these numbers, we estimate the fandom to be somewhere in the hundreds of millions in terms of size.
There is a section on Archive Of Our Own for Olympics Real-Person Fiction (RPF) with over 400 works; For reference, this category is dwarfed by other sports-related RPF such as Figure Skating RPF (over 1200) and Hockey RPF (over 8900) Football RPF (over 10 000).
Looking at Olympics RPF:
- More than 75% of the works are categorized as M/M
- The top three largest olympics sports fandoms represented in the works are: Swimming RPF (200+), Figure Skating RPF (70+), Speed Skating RPF (50+)
- The top three most popular characters represented: Michael Phelps (swimmer, 200+), Ryan Lochte (swimmer, 190+), J. R. Celski (speed skater, 50+)
Other fun facts:
- Fans of BBC Merlin run a small festival in conjunction with the winter and summer Olympics: The Merlin Olympics that have been running since 2012
- The Doctor has (canon) and his companions have visited the Olympics on multiple occasions
Last Episode’s Famous Last Words
When is Canada going to fund its fencing teams?
Predictions for the Winter games: Where will Canada place?
Are there people who only pay attention to the winter Olympics?
Why do we still do the Olympics? Is it like Daylight Savings Time?
How many people actively cheer for countries other than their own?
T is out. Not particularly interested.
G is in. Doesn’t watch sports, but will watch the Olympics; just to watch it with the world.
Z is out. If it’s on, he’ll watch it.
This week’s spotlight
Special Olympics is about sports, but it is also about so much more. For children, youth, and adults with an intellectual disability, Special Olympics becomes a place of welcome – a place where they will be accepted for who they are and given the chance to be their best.
Your support allows us to continue to provide the programs, mentorship, and resources required by our athletes, coaches, and volunteers to change the lives of thousands of individuals with an intellectual disability across Canada.
— Special Olympics Canada
Famous Last Words
This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, Overwatch!
Are there players who make a point of embodying the character they are playing over trying to win?
Will I play Overwatch before next week’s episode??
Seriously though, why is Hanzo main a bad thing? (I know almost nothing about Overwatch)
How wide is the divide between curative and transformative?
In 2016 Blizzard comic, how did fans react to Tracer’s girlfriend?
Where can you find us online?
We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:
- If you want to help us to create more amazing fannish content, become a patron on Patreon; even as little as a dollar a month pledge really helps us out!
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- For all the latest updates, check us out on Facebook or Twitter
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- We’re also on iTunes, and Google Play, and would love it if you could leave a review and rating!
- if you want to reach us, and for some reason none of those work for you, try email@example.com
- You can check out our website; that will mostly bring you back to this stuff.
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thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!
What is “Fanthropological”?
How did you read this far without asking this question?!
Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.
Who is “The Nickscast”?
We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative (dare we say, the most creative).
We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.
We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.
- National Post - How Canada funds Olympic athletes on the road to Rio
- LA Times - All the reasons we still need the Olympics: Uhhh, can’t think of any
- The Ampersand - Nationalism and the Olympics
- Wikipedia - Olympic Games
- Google Trends - Olympics
- People - 4,900 Medals and 6,000 Hours of TV: The Rio Olympics by the Numbers
- CNN - London Olympics by the numbers
- Archive Of Our Own - Olympics (RPF)
- The Merlin Olympics that have been running since 2012
- TARDIS Data Core - Olympic Games
- Inverse Science - Olympic Nationalism Unites Us in Irrational Hate
- Huffington Post - Country First: The Olympic Games, Nationalism and the Ultimate Displays of Fandom
- The Ringer - The Summer Olympics Is the Height of Armchair Fandom
- Fanlore - Merlin Olympics
- Africanews - Refugees Olympics Team Draws Massive Fans
- Beams and Struts - Why Do People Cheer for Their Team?
- Bleacher Report - Should We Cheer for Our Country To Win in the Olympics?
- Facebook - Refugee Olympic Team
- LoveHate.ru - Olympic Games
- Psychology Today - Why We Love Watching the Olympics
- Quora - Is it Considered Socially acceptable to Cheer for a Nation other than the One in which You Reside, With Regard to the Olympics?
- Quora - Olympic Games (Topic)
- Quora - Why Do People Love the Olympics?
- r/Olympics - Hi Reddit, I’m Eritrea’s First Winter Olympian! AMA
- r/Olympics - In the 70s it was Projected that the 2020 Olympics could be the First Interplanetary Olympics
- r/Olympics - Who Do You Root For?
Music / Sound
- “Fanfare for the Common Man” by the Halifax Music Co-op used under CC BY-NC 3.0
- All other music and sound for this week’s episode were provided by Nick Green!