Ranking the Popularity of Different Olympic Sports Forums on Reddit

Over the past several years, the social media forum Reddit has gained rising popularity among online users. With approximately 430 million monthly online users and over 180,000 different topic sub-forums, the site has seen a 42% increase in activity since the coronavirus pandemic began. With an active community of members, the site can serve as a means to measure the popularity of different sports on the Olympic stage.

Reddit has also gained popularity among the swimming community, with Olympian Nathan Adrian hosting an AMA (ask me anything) session on the platform in collaboration with USA Swimming’s Make a Splash program.

Across the site, there are 45 summer and winter Olympic Sports that currently have established forums for discussions about international competitions, technique, rankings, and other topics. Out of those sports, football (soccer) has the most popular forum with 3,482,982 active members, followed by baseball, which has 2,038,356 members. Both sports have audiences that are primarily driven by their presence outside of the Olympic realm, including the MLB for baseball and FIFA for soccer. The most popular winter Olympic sport forum is snowboarding, with 1,479,839 members, which also draws from an audience outside of the Olympic Games with the X-Games competition series.

The swimming forum (r/Swimming) leads all aquatic sports with its 112,171 members, ranking it 21st among all Olympic sports. In sports where the Olympics serve as the “pinnacle competition”, swimming ranks as the 13th most-popular subreddit. The diving forum (r/diving) sports a total of 29,110 members, ranking it 34th out of 45 sports. Water polo (r/waterpolo) comes in just behind with 8,622 members, 41st out of 45 sports. Meanwhile, the forum specific to open water swimming boasts 4,688 members, coming in 44th.

Reddit Forums for Olympic Sports Ranked by Number of Members

Sports Forum Name
football (soccer) r/soccer 3,482,982
Base-ball r/baseball 2,038,356
Running r/running 1,934,614
Snowboarding r/snowboarding 1,479,839
Hockey r/hockey 1,451,524
Skiing r/Skiing 1,370,689
Boxing r/Boxing 1,155,058
Climbing r/climbing 1,106,977
Tennis r/tennis 838,522
Golf r/golf 501,675
Skateboarding r/skateboarding 450,422
Basketball r/Basketball 433,621
Cycling r/cycling 270,133
Rugby r/rugbyunion 202,833
Judo r/judo 169,159
Weightlifting r/weightlifting 165,038
Triathlon r/triathlon 161,516
Surfing r/surfing 136,785
Sailing r/sailing 131,894
Archery r/Archery 114,373
Swimming r/Swimming 112,171
Kayaking r/Kayaking 108,050
Athletics r/trackandfield 89,870
Volleyball r/volleyball 81,483
Wrestling r/wrestling 74,117
Rowing r/Rowing 73,235
BMX Cycling r/bmx 52,857
Equestrian r/Equestrian 49,953
Figure Skating r/FigureSkating 43,893
Gymnastics r/Gymnastics 37,810
Table Tennis r/tabletennis 37,220
Karate r/carat 32,817
Fencing r/Fencing 32,364
Diving r/diving 29,110
Badminton r/badminton 27,727
Taekwondo r/taekwondo 25,074
Curling r/Curling 12,635
Futsal r/futsal 11,800
Handball r/Handball 9,598
Handball r/Handball 9,598
Water Polo r/waterpolo 8,622
Softball r/Softball 6,150
Biathlon r/biathlon 5,606
Open Water Swimming r/OpenWaterSwimming 4,688
Speed ​​Skating r/Speedskating 1,433