Tuesday, August 26, 2008

British Athletes Conclude Their Most Successful Olympic Games

By Dow Jones Insight Staff

The Beijing Olympic Games offered athletes from the United Kingdom the opportunity to compete on the sports world’s biggest stage and also the chance to build excitement at home for the upcoming London Games in 2012. The athletes responded to both challenges. The 2008 Games were the most successful for the British team, who brought home 19 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze medals for a total of 47 medals.

Among the top U.K. athletes being tracked by Dow Jones Insight, track cyclist Chris Hoy garnered the most coverage in traditional and social media sources within the U.K. during the period of August 11 to August 25. Hoy, who won three gold medals, received 1,525 of the 5,542 total mentions in U.K. sources, for 28%. Swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who won gold medals in the women’s 400- and 800-meter freestyle races, had 1,272 mentions, for 23%. Christine Ohuruogu won a gold medal in the women’s 400 meters, and had 605 mentions, for 11%. Sailor Ben Ainslie, who won a gold medal in the Finn Class, also had 11% of mentions.

Cyclist Victoria Pendleton, who won a gold medal in the women’s sprint race, had 506 mentions, for 9%, and marathoner Paula Radcliffe had 441 mentions, for 8%. Mixed-doubles badminton partners Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson had 4% and 3% of mentions, respectively. Runner Craig Pickering had 3% of mentions, and middle-distance runner Jo Pavey rounded out the top 10 with 69 mentions, for 1%.

In English sources based outside of the U.K., swimmer Adlington topped Hoy, leading the coverage across all media with 1,716 of 5,963 total mentions, for 29%. Hoy, whose sport doesn’t have the popular global appeal that swimming does, fell to second among Britons with 1,563 mentions, for 26%. Runner Ohuruogu again came in third in the media race outside her home country with 756 mentions, for 13%. Pendleton and Radcliffe followed with 11% and 10% of mentions, respectively. Ainslie had 457 mentions, for 8%. Emms, Pickering and Robertson each had 1% of mentions. Triathlete Helen Tucker was the tenth of the top 10 athletes, with 22 mentions.

Methodology: Analysis includes the English-language sources taken from a database of 6,000 newspapers, wires, magazines, radio and TV transcripts; about 13,000 current-awareness news sites; 60,000 message boards and about two million blogs.

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