Olympics-Chinese women online show more interest in Winter Games

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BEIJING, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Women in China have shown more interest than men in searching online for Winter Olympics-related information, a report by search engine company Baidu showed on Wednesday.

Curling, short-track speed skating and figure skating were the top three most-searched Winter Olympic events among Chinese internet users, followed by ice hockey, ski jumping and snowboarding, Baidu said.

Freestyle skier Eileen Gu was the most-searched athlete, Baidu said.The San Francisco native and medal favourite, whose mother is from Beijing, is Team China’s best known winter athlete.

Of those searching Olympics-related topics in the last 30 days, 56.8% were women, according to Baidu, which did not share its raw data.

“This breaks the stereotype that men pay more attention to sports events,” Baidu said.

Baidu is China’s most widely used search engine.Google has been blocked in China since 2010.

The report also showed that internet users in balmy southern China did more Winter Olympic searching than those in the north. China declared its intention in 2015 to get 300 million people involved in winter sports and to build hundreds of snow and ice facilities.

Curling will be the first event of the 2022 Beijing Games, beginning on Wednesday evening, two days before the opening ceremony.

Female figure skaters Zhu Yi, Sui Wenjing and Wang Shiyue, as well as male short-track speed skating star Wu Dajing, were also among the top-five searched winter Olympic athletes on Baidu.(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Tony Munroe Editing by Robert Birsel)