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Britain’s glorious summer of 2012 inspires all
Noone in Britain will forget the summer of 2012 in a hurry - but has it changed anyone's behavior or attitudes? A new survey of 2,000 people for Bing, Microsoft's search engine, set out to find out.
It seems that the events of the summer have indeed inspired Britons into action. Nearly one in three (29%) people were inspired to take up a new sport or hobby, one in five people (21%) to explore more of Britain, and one in 10 (13%) to see more of the world. And it's not just lip service either - of those inspired to do new things, 62% have already started their new activity or made plans to do so.
Summer 2012 has had an even greater impact on younger Brits, with nearly half (47%) of people aged 18-24 and 43% of people aged 25-34 inspired to take up a new sport or hobby.
The inspiration to do more and try something new came mostly from our Olympians and Paralympians - 27% of Brits said they were motivated by our Olympic athletes, 16% by our Paralympians, while just 6% were inspired by the Royal family.
Press Association Images
Of all the Olympic and Paralympic athletes, British women were most inspired by "sisters doing it for themselves". 10% of British women cited gold-winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis (pictured above) as the athlete who most inspired them to try new things, followed by swimmer Ellie Simmonds (8%) and cyclist Victoria Pendleton (7%).
However men took their inspiration from both sides of the gender divide - the chops of Bradley Wiggins (pictured below) most inspired British men to try new things, with 9% of British men picking the cyclist as their most inspirational athlete, followed by Jessica Ennis (8%) and Victoria Pendleton (7%).
The appeal of these athletes was directly reflected in the sports that people sought to take up after watching them storm to gold. Among those inspired to try a new sport, cycling (26%), athletics (24%) and swimming (23%) were the top three activities.
Press Association Images
Former Olympian and London 2012 commentator Colin Jackson commented on the findings: "It's fantastic to see that 'Britain's Greatest Summer' has had a lasting impact. We all remember how excited and inspired we were during the summer - to see that this has actually led to action for so many people is a brilliant result.
"It's not surprising to see so many people, in particular younger Brits, have been inspired to take up a new sport - our Olympians and Paralympians have been amazing role models. As a former Olympian myself, I know the athletes will be thrilled to see their Games efforts have created such a great legacy of 'doing'."
The research coincides with the Bing is for Doing campaign. Bing is calling for Brits to tell it what they really want to do, and the search engine brand will then make the best ones happen. To tell Bing what you want to do and be inspired by some of the amazing things Bing has already made happen for its users, visit www.facebook.com/binguk.
The Top 10 athletes who most inspired Britons to do more and try new things:
1 Jessica Ennis (athletics, Olympics)
2 Victoria Pendleton (cycling, Olympics)
3 Mo Farah (athletics, Olympics) and Bradley Wiggins (cycling, Olympics)
5 Ellie Simmonds (swimming, Paralympics)
6 Jonnie Peacock (athletics, Paralympics)
7 David Weir (wheelchair athletics and marathon, Paralympics)
8 Andy Murray (tennis, Olympics and Wimbledon)
9 Sir Chris Hoy (cycling, Olympics)
10 Tom Daley (diving, Olympics)
Cities and towns highs and lows:
- Wrexham is the UK's most inspired town, with half of its residents (50%) saying they have been inspired to do something new in the wake of 'Britain's Greatest Summer', followed by Worcester (47%) and York (43%). Edinburgh is the UK's least inspired town in the wake of Britain's Greatest Summer at just 13%.
- Wrexham residents were also most inspired by summer 2012 to explore more of Britain - 43% versus the national average of 21% - followed by Brighton & Hove (33%) and Swansea (29%). Wolverhampton was the least inspired town to explore more of the UK at just 9%.
- Sheffield was the most inspired town to see more of the world following summer 2012, with 18% of residents keen to explore more, followed by Norwich and Bristol (both 17%). Edinburgh and Coventry were the least inspired towns to explore more of the world at just 7% each.
The data is from a OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK respondents, commissioned by Bing UK, held in September 2012.