Sliding Games


Given the tacky treatment, the mad crush and the disorganisation of the opening ceremony in Atlanta in 1996 it comes as no surprise that the number of Australians interested in watching the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney Olympics on television has dropped markedly.

According to a survey carried out recently in Australia interest in viewing the opening ceremony had dropped to 43 percent while only 36 percent want to watch the closing ceremony. The opening and closing ceremonies are, surprisingly, the most-watched events in an Olympics, adding to the impression that the games traditionally draw in those people who have little interest in sport at any other time.

Swimming was chosen as the most popular viewing sport, with 59 percent of Australians over the age of 14 planning to watch it on television. Gymnastics (48), athletics (47) and diving (42) are the next most popular for couch potatoes.

Swimming is also the event most people are interested in attending (26 percent), ahead of the opening ceremony (24), athletics (19) and the closing ceremony (17).