New research conducted by JWS Research indicates that a majority (51%) of Australians are against the Olympics going ahead in Tokyo during July and August this year. In a survey of 1,000 people, just 30% thought that the games should go ahead.
Strongest opinions against the Olympics going ahead are held by people aged 55+ years (57%) and women (55%). Men have a significantly higher preference than the national average for the games to go ahead (36%), but more (47%) would prefer they didn’t.
22% of Australians are strongly of the view that the games should not go ahead, a view held most strongly by those aged 55+ years (29%).
Australians have mixed views on whether Australia should send a team of athletes and their support staff to compete if the Tokyo Olympics were to go ahead. 37% think Australia should send a team and 38% think it should not, whilst 14% would need to know more and 12% can’t say.
There are clear distinctions by gender, with men more inclined to think Australia should compete (44%) than not (35%), whilst women are more strongly of the view that Australia should not send a team (30%) than should (41%). No demographic group holds a majority view that the Tokyo Olympics should go ahead or, if they do, that Australia should send a team to compete.
Concerns and risks about COVID-19 far outweigh the merits of holding the Tokyo Olympics in July and August this year, with a majority of Australians agreeing (and people aged 55+ years and women typically holding the firmest views):
We need to focus on coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic rather than sporting events like these Games (60% agree)
Australians returning from these Games present too much unnecessary risk to the health of our community (60% agree)
Holding these Games presents too high a risk to all involved (59% agree)
Reasons for going generate far less agreement:
Athletes accept the risks and still want to compete, so we should support them to do so (44% agree, 26% disagree)
It is important to unite the global community in a positive experience like these Games (42% agree, 24% disagree)
The financial impact on governments, organisers, sponsors and broadcasters will be too high, if these Games do not go ahead (41% agree, 19% disagree)
More Australians disagree (38%) than agree (34%) that “It is possible for these Games to be ‘COVID-19 safe’”.