Polling Place: How much are the Summer Olympics in Tokyo on your radar?

The vote was markedly unenthusiastic.

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Opening Ceremony - Olympics: Day 0

U.S. athletes during the opening ceremony’s Parade of Nations.

Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Anyone who was up before the sun here Friday to watch the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics — or who viewed it rebroadcast in prime time — took in something entertaining and, frankly, troubling.

Host city Tokyo is under a state of emergency. Kicking off a Games without fans in attendance, the opening ceremony unfolded before a largely empty Olympic Stadium and with many fewer athletes than usual taking part in the Parade of Nations.

The Games — and the pandemic — go on.

In this week’s “Polling Place” — your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter — we asked respondents how into these Games they are.

“The city is on quarantine watch!” @JBIRD1268 commented.

“The Olympics started?” @shupe_dog asked, facetiously, we suppose.

We also asked about favorite sports in the Summer Games.

“I voted for swimming,” @DadsThumb wrote, “but it’s really a tie between gymnastics and swimming. I like the extreme objectivity of swimming, but the difficulty and breathtaking nature of gymnastics skills makes it compelling to watch.”

On to the polls:

Poll No. 1: How much are the Tokyo Olympics, which started this week, on your radar?

Upshot: Many Japanese are strongly opposed to the holding of the 2020 Games, delayed a year due to COVID-19, as the country lags behind much of the world in vaccination rates. Whether or not that unpleasant backdrop played into the results of this poll — one assumes it did to some extent — the vote was markedly unenthusiastic. Then again, we haven’t had any American athletes to fall in love with yet.

Poll No. 2: Which of these Summer Olympic sports is your favorite to watch?

Upshot: Few things in sports can match the excitement, the pressure, the sheer weight of the moment as a frenzied reach for the wall, a crowded kick to the finish line or an absolutely must-have dismount. And many of these athletes are so young — babies, practically — with golden dreams tangled in such vulnerability. We see ourselves in them, don’t we? Or our kids and grandkids. It can be beautiful. (Please, nobody mention doping.)

Poll No. 3: In general, are you more of a Summer Olympics fan or a Winter Olympics fan?

Upshot: “Winter is 100 times better,” wrote @StacheEsq, but that doesn’t seem to be a common take at all. Summer is when we’ve gotten to know more national heroes, for sure: Jesse Owens, Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Florence Griffith-Joyner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Greg Louganis, Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles and many more. On the other hand: no hockey. It’s hard to top Olympic pucks.

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