Tokyo Olympic Games: real-time insights from the open web
Updated: Mar 28
The Tokyo Olympics games were kicked off on July 23th, after a postponement of a year due to COVID-19. It’s clear this year’s Olympic games are very different and unlike any other Olympics. In this year’s games, COVID-19 restrictions are fully enforced, therefore, there are no fans in the games, no cheering, no handshakes or high fives and masks are certainly mandatory. Although the restrictions completely modify the environment of the Olympic games, this is not what the conversations on the open web are talking about.
Affogata’s AI gathers all direct and indirect conversations around any specific topic, search, or brand from the open web. Through the platform, we were able to automatically discover the Olympics’ top trends, sentiment, keywords, and topics, by tracking millions of conversations from various channels in real-time, and here are the main insights:
Mental health should not be a hidden topic
At Affogata, we suddenly noticed a surge in conversation around the ‘mental health’ keyword. The conversation started with Naomi Osaka. A few days ago, Affogata's platform showed a high peak in conversation around Naomi Osaka, the Japanese tennis player. After a shocking loss in the third round of a tennis tournament, admitted that she was suffering from a mental health break after the loss.
Not long after, Simone Biles, the American gymnast with 30 Olympic and World Championship gold medals announced that she would be withdrawing from the team and all-around Olympic finals. Biles released a statement mentioning how fear affects the mental health and physical safety of gymnasts and that she is leaving the Olympic games to work on her mental health and state.
At first, people on the web were absolutely shocked. However, the conversation around both Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles has turned positive, praising the athletes for prioritizing mental health. People around the world and even influencers have stood up to state how hard this can be and how brave both of the athletes are.
Athletes are utilizing the Olympic games as a platform to take a stand
The International Olympic Committee has historically sought to keep the games apolitical, however, after a year in which deep-rooted injustices roiled the world, there was a statement mentioning that demonstrations will be allowed as long as they occur before the competition and not at awards podiums.
Tom Daley, a British diver who won a gold medal in this year’s Olympics has used the games to openly speak about being gay and an Olympics champion. People have shown tremendous support through online conversations and positive sentiment towards the athlete. Daley has utilized the platform to talk about the importance of inclusiveness for the queer community.
Social media becomes a major player in this year’s Olympics with behind-the-scenes footage
Another crucial trending topic around the Tokyo Olympics 2020 is definitely the Olympics village. Athletes from around the world have started to post their daily routine in the village, attracting major buzz from young people following their social media accounts. TikTok and Instagram have been the main channels in which athletes share behind-the-scenes content from the Olympic village and people are loving it.
Athletes have adopted the trend “things that only make sense at the Olympics Village” where they show the athletes isolation space per country, crazy eating halls, security all around, and the famous cardboard beds. These beds were built specifically for safety due to COVID-19’s restrictions, however, athletes have taken it in a humoristic way and added to it several other connotations.
Cheering for the underdog
Another special insight about the Olympics this year is how people in the open web are having positive conversations about the underdogs. At previous Olympic games, the main conversation was always about the winning countries. However, this year at Affogata, we saw a high spike in conversation around Flora Duffy, being one of the most-talked-about and raved-about athletes from the Olympics as she brought the first gold medal from the Bermudas. The platform showed a high surge in positive mentions from all over the world, specifically mentions around how inspiring her story is.
Another great example is Hilidyn Diaz. Diaz is the first Filipino to ever win an Olympic gold medal, and an Olympic weightlifting record-holder by winning the women's 55 kg category for weightlifting at the 2020 Summer Olympics. At Affogata, we saw a high surge in the mentions around the athlete, celebrating a historic milestone for the athlete and the country.
The Olympics' real-time conversations all around the web have taken everybody by surprise. The Tokyo Olympics have made possible the opening of various transcendental topics that people have a lot to say about and it has been a great platform for athletes to take stands and empower others to do the same.
At previous Olympic games, there was no such thing as discussing the difficulty of being an athlete and the repercussions the pressure has on them such as mental health problems or being part of the LGBT community. It’s exciting how athletes are opening up and creating a positive change in crucial topics affecting several people around the world.