The Winter Olympics end today. In snowboarder speak, “That bums me out dude.” My wife laughs at me, but I’m going to go through withdrawals of olympic proportions now. For the past two weeks I’ve watched everything from skiing to skating. Even curling and cross-country. And the drama has been better than any television soap opera. USA-Canada, Vonn-Mancuso, etc.
I’m not the only one who’s been glued to hockey, biathlon, skeleton, curling, ski jumping coverage. Nielsen counts everything, including how many of us are watching the Olympics. Here are some of its ratings breakouts:
- 35 percent of viewers cried or became teary-eyed while watching (25 percent among men).
- 66 percent of viewers cheered aloud while watching the Olympics.
- 63 percent stayed up longer than usual to watch, resulting in 42 percent being “more tired than normal.”
- 46 percent of Olympic viewers changed their typical routine to watch the Olympics.
- 34 percent delayed doing laundry or other household chores, including paying bills, in order to watch the Olympics.
- 59 percent said they didn’t watch some of their “regular shows” in order to watch the Olympics.
- 42 percent of viewers said the Olympic sport they would most like to try is the bobsled.
Lots of viewers and lots of medals. The USA has come away with more medals than ever before. Have names like Lindsay Vonn, Apolo Ohno, Bode Miller, Shani Davis, and Shaun White become the new “American Idols”? Maybe so. Nielsen says the Olympics even surpassed that hugely popular show in ratings.
So it looks like I won’t be the only one suffering from the shakes when I reach for the remote on Monday.
p.s. As part of my 5 step recovery program, I made my own highlight reel from a recent family ski and snowboard vacation.