The U.S. Olympic team left Rio de Janeiro with more medals than any other team, but it wasn’t without controversy. Despite some bad behavior from members of the men’s swim team, most Americans who watched the Summer Olympics believe they were good for the United States’ image abroad.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of 1,000 American adults finds that 76 percent say they’ve been watching coverage of the Olympics in Rio, while only 23 percent have not. Just before the games began, 55 percent said they were likely to watch a large portion of the Summer Olympics coverage on television, with 26 percent who said they were Very Likely to do so.
Among those adults who’ve followed Olympics coverage, 51 percent say this year’s games have been good for America’s image abroad. Nineteen percent say the Olympics were bad for that image, but 24 percent more say they’ve had no impact.
Forty-four percent of all Americans say the Summer Olympics have been good for the United States’ image, while 22 percent feel they’ve been bad. Twenty-seven percent say the games have had no impact on how others view America.
Four members of the men’s swim team, including star swimmer Ryan Lochte, are facing public backlash for an alcohol-fueled evening after which Lochte initially claimed being robbed at gunpoint by a group of Brazilian security guards. Brazilian authorities later claimed that the swimmers were damaging property and the guards were seeking damages without holding them at gunpoint. The investigation is ongoing.