Despite the lack of spectators on site, the Tokyo 2020 Sport Climbing events attracted millions of viewers across the globe. For many of those tuning in, it was the first time that they'd become aware of climbing as a sport, let alone an Olympic one (with a quirky format and scoring system, it has to be said). The BBC reported a record-breaking 104 million online viewing requests overall across all sports, while in the US NBC figures were the lowest on record since their first Summer Games broadcast in 1988. It's early days to be analysing the impact of the heightened interest in climbing and its athletes on the sport as a whole, but one simple parameter that indicates a more immediate influence of the Games on new audiences is social media followers.
i have a hunch that nonaka’s big increase of followers is down to the same phenomenon that becomes apparent when you search for her name on twitter: the general internet has become wise to her existence and has reacted with extreme thirst.