Google has a fun tool that lets you visualize trends in search queries submitted by its users. Google is often the first place people go to find out more about a given topic, so it’s a powerful measure of the public’s “interest” in that topic. Below are a few Google Trends graphs related to open water swimming.
Is open water swimming “growing”?
- Interest in open water swimming is highly cyclical, with summer peaks and winter troughs. (Obviously.)
- Two big “spikes” corresponding to the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012.
- Aside from the seasonal cycles and Olympic spikes, the peaks and troughs do seem to rising slightly over time.
As expected, triathlon swimming is consistently bigger than marathon swimming. One exception: the surge of interest associated with the London Olympic 10K marathon swim.
What about the Triple Crown events: English Channel, Catalina Channel, and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim?…