The majority of young South Africans are excited about the Olympics and have high expectations of South Africa’s chances of improving their medal count compared to 2008, when only one medal was won.

In a survey conducted by Pondering Panda, a consumer insights company, with 2 794 respondents across South Africa, 71% says that they were excited about the Olympics.  The majority of respondents were under 35.

Given Oscar Pistorius’s prominence in the media, respondents were asked if they knew who the ‘blade runner’ was. Only 44% had heard the name, with males being most likely to be familiar with Pistorius’s nickname (53%).

Of those aware of him, a minority (27%) felt he would have an unfair advantage in his events. 55% felt he would not enjoy any advantage, while 18% of respondents were unsure whether he would or not.

In a separate survey conducted by Pondering Panda amongst 3 542 respondents, it was found that expectations of South Africa’s success at the Olympics were high. Eight two percent of respondents expected South Africa to deliver more medals than in 2008.

Shirley Wakefield of Pondering Panda comments: “It is clear that younger South Africans are excited about the Olympics, and looking forward to supporting our team. It is a great opportunity for nation building, as the enthusiasm we encountered cut across all demographic groups.

“It should be heartening for our athletes to know that they have our youth firmly behind them. I am sure that our athletes will not let them down, and will do us all proud.”

Both surveys were completed in the last two weeks of July, before the Olympic opening ceremony. All surveys were conducted on cell phones. Pondering Panda is a member of the World of Avatar group, who also owns Mxit, Africa’s biggest social network.