New research highlights the impact of the Olympics on everyday Australians

With less than a month until the Paris 2024 Games, sports performance brand, ASICS, the official uniform partner of the Australian Olympic Team, is rallying all Australians to ‘Lace Up’ and get moving in support of our athletes.

The significant influence that the Olympics has on Australia’s sport loving nation is clearly articulated in new research[1] unveiled by the sports performance brand. Not only do Australians love to watch Australian Olympians compete on the world stage, but as many as one in six revealed they dreamt of becoming an Olympian themselves as children, with 26% wanting to win gold in track and field events, followed by swimming (15%), soccer (8%), and tennis (8%).

While the majority of those who dreamt of competing in the Olympics gave up because they didn’t believe they were good enough (53%), half of those who held this dream still play that same sport today (50%), a testament to how people are able to commit to physical activities when they enjoy them.

The nationally representative study of over 1000 Australian adults also found that two-thirds have been motivated to try a new sport after watching the Olympics. Further, more than a quarter of respondents also stated that beyond the initial inspiration, they have continued with their chosen sport for at least two years after taking it up, highlighting the long-lasting impact these major events have on everyday Australians to lace up and get moving.

ASICS Oceania Manager Director Mark Brunton says, “As a sports performance brand, ASICS believes in the positive power of sport and movement, that it can transform us individually and as a community. Our Olympians make an enormous contribution to the lives of everyday Australians. Not only through their jaw-dropping athleticism, or their ability to bring us together, but by serving as a beacon of inspiration to all of us to lace up and get our own bodies moving.”

“To celebrate this contribution and show our Olympians just how much they mean to our nation, we’re inviting all Australians to join us to Lace Up, simply by moving in any way that feels good to them and sharing how they get active using #LaceUpAustralia,” Mr Brunton said.

One of those who grew up hoping to compete in the Olympics was Kelsey-Lee Barber, an Australian track and field athlete who is in Paris preparing to compete in the javelin throw. Having competed for most of her life, and being an Olympic medallist and Commonwealth Games winner, Kelsey-Lee shares her four top tips for people looking to turn their Olympic dreams into a reality, or anyone looking to making exercise more of a focus in their life:

  1. Set goals along the way and find your ‘why’. Find a measure as to why you want to do this, that goes beyond outcomes. What gets you excited about chasing your dream? What keeps you coming back for more and keeps you grounded when things aren’t going to plan? It’s important to acknowledge these drivers and set small goals along the way to help you achieve them.
  2. Build up your support team. It is crucial to build a team of people around you who are going to support your dream. These should be people you can trust and most importantly lean on when times get hard. Without the right people around you it can be easy to give up hope when things get rocky.
  3. Create a supportive environment. Finding an environment that will support your dream early on is so important. Find a coach you work well with, a team with teammates you can lean on and relate to and work well with, especially if your sport is a team sport. You will also want to find the right facilities to base yourself at, so you can train to your very best every time.
  4. Believe in yourself. Self belief and surrounding yourself with people who will love and support you on your journey is crucial. Committing to movement will be an adventure with ups and downs, and the power of self-belief with supportive people around you can result in amazing achievements. And it will leave you with lasting memories with your favourite people.

Kelsey-Lee also acknowledges the importance of supporting wellbeing to maintain balance in life, “Pursuing big goals and dreams can take a lot from you and it’s important to not lose yourself in that pursuit. Looking after my wellbeing and striking that balance allows me to give everything to my training and competitions while still enjoying my life outside of athletics,” she said.

Mr Brunton echoes the importance of prioritising a balance when it comes to your wellbeing, even if your Olympic dream is off the cards, “ASICS believe in achieving a Sound Mind in a Sound Body, through the positive power of sport and movement. Whether you are an average Joe, or a pro, it all starts with lacing up, because when you move your body, you move your mind, and there’s no better feeling.”

To be a part of the Lace Up Day Challenge, register your participation for free on the ASICS RunKeeper App (available for download via all leading app stores) and simply complete five, 20 minute sessions of exercise as we count down the 30 days until Paris 2024. #LaceUpAustralia

[1] Independent research agency, Antenna, conducted research on behalf of ASICS Oceania via an online Antenna Poll survey of 1,018 Australians. The survey was conducted between 7th to 9th May 2024. The survey data collection was national, and respondents were sourced using an accredited online research access panel. Data was weighted for representation against country census data.