Want a date? Better get active!


The Olympics might be on hiatus until 2020, but seeing the best athletes from all over the world con compete  inspired our team of researchers to look at the impact that sports has on attractiveness in the dating arena.

So, does being an athlete increase your chances of getting a date?

We sampled 40,000 eharmony users who live in Australia and had signed up for eharmony within the past 2 years. Specifically, we looked at 20,000 users who had indicated they play a summer Olympic sport on their eharmony profile. We then compared these ‘eharmony Olympians’ to the other eharmony users who did not indicate playing any of these sports.

Of all the sports we looked at, we found that swimming, running, cycling, golf, and basketball were the most common summer Olympic sports that eharmony users play. So what are the main differences between these eharmony Olympians and the rest of the eharmony world? We compared them in 3 ways: attention received, personality, and education.

Attention received

We measured how many requests for communication they received on eharmony, and we found that these users who listed playing a summer Olympic sport received 2 times more communication requests from their matches! This difference was actually more pronounced for men, with male athletes receiving 5 times more communication requests, and women athletes receiving 2 times more communication requests.

Of all of the different Olympic sports, eharmony users who are runners received the most requests for communication. For silver and bronze, users who compete in triathlons and participate in horseback riding received a similarly high amount of communication requests.

Meet Compatible Matches

Users who reported cycling and swimming round out the top 5 most attractive summer Olympic sports to eharmony members.

Comparing communication received by gender, men were most attracted to women who compete in triathlons, women who are runners, and women who enjoy mountain biking. These three sports received the most communication requests among women. Women were most attracted to men who mountain bike, closely followed by men who enjoy cycling, and those who are runners.


The eharmony Olympians were found to have many significant personality differences. These users were found to value physical fitness and an athletic lifestyle significantly more than the Non-Olympian group.

While this finding is quite obvious, our results replicated what other researchers had found as well. eharmony Olympians were found to be more conscientious, emotionally stable, and valued intellect significantly higher than the Non-Olympians. While previous research has only looked at a small number of personality traits, we also found that these athletic eharmony users were more extroverted, more agreeable, and less aggressive, and they valued monogamy, romanticism, and sexuality in relationships more.


The eharmony Olympians were also found to be significantly more educated overall. A greater proportion of Olympians had Bachelor or Master degrees, while the non-athletes had higher instances of completing some high school or less. So the stereotypical ‘dumb jock’ definitely does not hold up with our athletic online daters.

While the Olympics give athletes worldwide an opportunity to compete with the best, and use all of their hard work and dedication to represent their individual countries, you don’t have to be an Olympian to enjoy these sports. While you might not get a gold medal for your efforts, our results show that your online dating profile could get quite a boost!

Are you more attracted to people who play sports? Sign up today and review your matches for free. Follow us on FacebookTwitter & Instagram to learn more about dating, love & relationships!

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