Post Olympic spirits high but may fizzle out - survey


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The Olympic Games have had a positive effect on the UK, according to a survey for the BBC, but there are doubts how long the feel-good factor will last.

Some 83% said the Games had a positive effect on the UK and 80% thought it had made people more proud to be British.

However while 35% thought the effect of the Games would be long-term, 54% thought it would be short-lived.

Of the 1,002 people asked by GfK NOP, 80% said they had been interested in the Games over the past two weeks.

Value graphic

Meanwhile, 64% said the Olympics had provided good value for money and 56% said they had had a positive effect on them personally.

The Games delivered the biggest national television event since current measuring systems began, with 51.9 million people - 90% of the UK population - watching at least 15 minutes of coverage.

It was the BBC's most successful online event, attracting a record-breaking 55 million global browsers to the BBC Sport website throughout the Games.

Games chairman Seb Coe has acknowledged the role played by the crowds who gave huge support to the athletes, resulting in GB finishing third in the medals table.


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In a separate survey conducted for the BBC in July, most people said they thought the Olympic Games would mainly benefit London and not the rest of the country.

The poll of 2,017 people found 59% thought taxpayers had paid too much to cover the cost of the Games, while at the same time 53% thought it was not wasted money.

When a similar survey was conducted for the BBC in April, 64% of those who took part thought the cost was too high.

The Olympics, which began on 27 July, were brought to a close by a ceremony on Sunday 12 August watched by 26.3 million people in the UK.

Selected poll questions

What effect, if any, do you think the Olympic Games have had on the UK as a whole?

Source: GfK/BBC News, 1,002 people aged over 16 interviewed between 10-12 August 2012





No effect at all


Do you think that the Olympic Games has made people more proud to be British, less proud to be British, or made nodifference?

More proud


Less proud


No difference


Thinking about the effect the Olympic Games will have on the UK overall, do you think that any effect on the UKwill be long term, any effects will be short-lived, or will there be no effect at all?

Long term


Short term


No effect


Don't know



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  • rate this

    Comment number 306.


    It isn't unfortunate at all, who actually cares who you know or don't know. Social Science deals with facts not heresay. I don't recall "cricket" being an Olympic sport and so as I previously said you are talking tosh. What a random fella you are.

  • rate this

    Comment number 305.

    Ticketing aside the games were great and hugely enjoyable.

    Will the feel-good factor last and translate into a less obese nation? No. It's like Christmas and New Year. Most gym memberships lapse by the end of January.

    That said, if we identify and hang on to an expanded pool of elite talent owing to the Olympics then job done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 304.

    It is churlish to publish a report like this, which is essentially wholly negative. It appears that the Olympics have been a resounding success and it would behove the BBC and other news organizations to stop their politically biased reporting and be positive for a change. The UK needs all the positivity it can get at the moment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 303.


    Oh dear, having to resort to the Grauniad now?

    Unfortunately for you, I knew the Smith family and Ed would have received a cricket scholarship to any school that gave them on his ability alone. Peter Wilby needs to examine the facts not to take a self aplogist's word for things.

  • rate this

    Comment number 302.

    298. Nimrod2

    Football is most probably the most corrupt, overpaid profession possible. It has given us Gascoigne, Joey Barton as role models to name just two.
    Ben Johnson and Dwaine Chambers

  • rate this

    Comment number 301.

    xyriach (276), I dare say a good deal more of them could find us on a map (and in a holiday brochure) than before the Games. Same probably true for the rest of the world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 300.

    Perhaps, if the games tell us anything , they tell us, that the british people ,when given equal opportunity and access (a fair playing field) can do and can achieve absolutely anything! However , it's just a pity that the rest of society, cannot enjoy the same treatment (as was deemed vital in order to win some medals) in their endeavours and struggles!

  • rate this

    Comment number 299.

    293.Joe Pertinent
    "The question, 'Have the Games made people feel more proud to be British?'"

    The answer should be no, it's random luck an athlete is born in this country rather than another. A person that actively supports the athlete (financial support, trains, etc) should be proud of the assistance they have given. Take pride in holding the games but justification for athletes performance?

  • rate this

    Comment number 298.


    Football is most probably the most corrupt, overpaid profession possible. It has given us Gascoigne, Joey Barton as role models to name just two.

  • rate this

    Comment number 297.

    Will the rail fare or income tax be reduced or say gurantee that winter fuel or senior free bus pass will continue, less green tax now on flights or University admission will be free, if not then ultimate gain is empty national pride.

  • rate this

    Comment number 296.

  • rate this

    Comment number 295.

    Olympics are too small relative to the national economy to be picked up in broad national indicators, like total employment, GDP or stock market. If the Games were to have a lasting increase on housing it would show up first in rising employment & income. There is no evidence of that - yet. World's host cities are dotted with grandiose structures that sit...

  • rate this

    Comment number 294.

    The only people that have benefitted from these games are the rich.

    The rich have been the only people who have been able to afford the tickets to watch the events.

    Also the rich are the only ones that play these sports like horse riding, rowing and cycling,. Just remember the majority of medalists are privately educated toffs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 293.

    The question, 'Have the Games made people feel more proud to be British?' begs another one: 'Why do people need a three hour ceremony and two weeks of athletics to feel proud of their country?' Can't they base their opinion on 2,700 years of history or more durable criteria? The Ceremony + Games cost billions but relied heavily on volunteers. It's now time for a run down of where the money went.

  • rate this

    Comment number 292.

    291. Precisely. I went to state school but my sister went to private school after my parents moved back to England. She was taught alongside two kids on full sports scholarships, both of whom now play Rugby for Leicester Tigers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 291.

    Medal winners were disproportionally white middle class and privately educated. Private schools do not target the state sector so it is irrelevant who they provide scholarships to."

    Not true!
    They look for potential. They couldn't care a less where they come from. If you are talented enough you get in.
    But why let a good story spoil the truth?

  • rate this

    Comment number 290.

    83.Kent C Strait

    Unlike Rugby Union where they deliberately gouge the eyes of the opponent and try to break bones. Or who go on tour and out on the p@ss fight each other and then sexually assault women. Or is that the million pound bonus Bankers and expense theiving Politicians. Knocking football fans is so middle class isn't it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 289.

    #282 certain sports like the various horsey ones were white middle class (or indeed I'd argue white upper class given that the queens grand daughter was one) but the athletics medals were almost exclusively west indian working class & the swimming ones white working class. Believe me Rebecca Adlington is not a "toff" (I've swum with her) & Katherine Grainger went to the same state school I did.

  • rate this

    Comment number 288.

    I have POD, Post Olympic Depression!

  • rate this

    Comment number 287.


    Does it really matter where an athlete went to school. Surely his/her performance at the sport in question is what matters most. Mo Farah, Jess Ennis, Andy Murray, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, Greg Rutherford, Nicola Adams and many more all won Gold medals - we should be proud of all of them, not constantly gripe about where they went to school or what colour their skin is.


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