The Olympics is a grand spectacle of sport, celebrating all forms of sporting prowess over the two week period. You can watch people at the top of their game, from all over the world, competing in a wide range of sports. And it’s the only time so much amateur sport is so readily available for viewing.
With 50 different sports and 339 events, there is a lot of choice. So what to watch? Do you focus on the popular sports, the sports making their olympic debut or something entirely different?
If you want to use the Tokyo Olympics as an opportunity to learn more about your Enneagram type, or someone else’s, take a look at our personality Olympics viewing guide.
Enneagram One, The Perfectionist
To learn more about One:
Enneagram Ones are known as the perfectionist for a reason. Being a top athlete often requires long hours of training, repeating and refining the smallest of muscles movements again and again. Their natural focus on details, noticing flaws and errors, and relentless desire to perform to the highest standard equips them with the drive to keep practicing long after everyone else has gone home.
They are also likely to specialise in sports that align with their view of the world. Sports that value precision, reward focus and appreciate consistency. Sports to watch to learn more about a One include: synchronised swimming, tennis, rowing, diving, and badminton.
To stretch yourself if you are a One:
If you are a One there are several sports you can watch to help you stretch outside your comfort zone, all without leaving the couch.
- Watch Boxing to get help with externalising your anger and frustration
- Watch rhythmic or artistic gymnastics, or equestrian events, to feel the artistry and intensity of Four
- Watch skateboarding, surfing or BMX Freestyle to tap into the freedom of adventure at Seven
Enneagram Two, The Giver
To learn more about Two:
Enneagram Twos prefer to give others what they need to succeed, and the same applies in sports. Two’s prefer cooperative sports, where they can assist other players to score goals, preferring to be out of the limelight. They will train hard to be able to perform at their best as they hate to feel like they are letting anyone down.
At the Olympics, watch the defenders in soccer (football), field hockey, the setters in beach and indoor volleyball, and the runners passing the baton in the relay events. Or watch the 3 on 3 basketball event to see teamwork at play. Twos can also be incredibly graceful so you will also find them in gymnastics events.
To stretch yourself if you are a Two:
If you are a Two there are several sports you can watch to help you stretch outside your comfort zone, while still being surrounded by friends and family.
- Watch more individual sports such as sailing, surfing or cross-country mountain biking.
- To tap into your more artistic side at Four, watch the equestrian events and rhythmic gymnastics.
- To get comfortable expressing power at Eight, watch boxing, wrestling, waterpolo, javelin and weightlifting.
Enneagram Three, The Achiever
To learn more about Three:
As a general rule, Enneagram Threes enjoy competition and being in the limelight. They are natural performers and will choose sports that allow them to show off their skills, increase their chance of a podium and getting their photo in the paper. As such, they tend to prefer individual sports which give them greater control over the outcome than a team sport, which requires them to rely on other people.
At the Olympics, you are likely to see Three’s on the starting blocks for the prestigious races such as the 50m sprint or swim, racing in the triathlon, or inside the velodrome ready to cycle their hearts out in the individual sprint.
To stretch yourself if you are a Three:
If you are a Three there are several sports you can watch to help you stretch outside your comfort zone, all while cheering and heckling from home.
- Watch team events, such as hockey, baseball, basketball and cycling, really paying attention to how teammates work together to succeed.
- Watch table tennis, hurdling and judo to see how Sixes use their ability to troubleshoot problems and switch between attacking and defending.
- Watch marathons and long distance walking to find the Nine’s joy in just participating (and notice when they give up their chance of winning to help another competitor finish the race).
Enneagram Four, The Individualist
To learn more about Four:
Enneagram Fours focus on what is missing, and what’s often missing from sport is artistry and elegance. Very few sports prioritise aesthetics, elegance, beauty over power, speed and agility. Fours will also seek out sports that are a bit different, which fewer people are practicing.
To see artistry in action at the Olympics, watch the rhythmic and artistic gymnastics, and the equestrian events - dressage and jumping. In rhythmic gymnastics athletes perform expressive and acrobatic moves, where they are scored on the artistry of their performance and the skill in executing difficult maneuvers.
To stretch yourself if you are a Four:
If you are a Four there are several sports you can watch to help you stretch outside your comfort zone, without having to try it first.
- Watch swimming, track and field and long distance running to see the value in more ordinary sports.
- Watch some team sports like basketball or volleyball to see how Two’s support their teams to win.
- Watch rowing, tennis and diving to get a feel for a One’s comfort with precision and routine.
Enneagram Five, The Investigator
To learn more about Five:
Enneagram Fives spend a lot of time managing their energy, wanting to make sure they have enough to complete their activities for the day. Hence they avoid sports that require an intense burst of energy to win, such as sprinting, or the need to manage one’s energy over a long period, such as a marathon.
Hence at the Olympics, you are more likely to be able to see Fives running middle distance events like the 800m or 1500m track events. You will also see them in events where they compete asynchronously, that is, not at the same time as other competitors, with thinking time between events, like diving, archery and skateboarding.
To stretch yourself if you are a Five:
If you are a Five there are several sports you can watch to help you stretch outside your comfort zone, without having to expend any energy.
- Watch team cycling events in the velodrome - team sprint, keirin, pursuit and omnium - to see people strategically working together.
- Watch weight lifting and javelin to feel into the power of Eight.
- Watch surfing, sailing or rock climbing to feel the adventure of Seven.
Enneagram Six, The Skeptic
To learn more about Six:
Enneagram Sixes are troubleshooters. They anticipate how things could go wrong and make a plan for it. All that worrying makes it hard to take action. So sport can be a great way to reduce some of that procrastination, as they just have to do it. But they are going to be interested in a sport that supports their ability to problem solve on the go.
At the Olympics Sixes will be attracted to sports with problems. Like the hurdles, why just sprint when you can add an obstacle to your race! You will also find them riding the equestrian cross country, where rider and horse must navigate a 6km course with over 40 obstacles including fences, hedges and water jumps positioned on an undulating course. All of which happens at 30km per hour in the space of 10 minutes!
To stretch yourself if you are a Six:
If you are a Six there are several sports you can watch to stretch you outside your normal risk tolerance zone.
- To develop more trust in people, watch teams competing in basketball, volleyball or hockey.
- To connect more to your body, watch sports like marathon or race walking where Nine’s manage their energy over long periods.
- Watch the 50m sprint and swim events, as well as champions returning to the Olympics for the second or third time, to experience a Three striving for gold and glory.
Enneagram Seven, The Enthusiast
To learn more about Seven:
Enneagram Sevens see the world through an optimistic lens, preferring to have options and possibilities.They don’t want to be constrained by timetables, limits and choices. They want to have it all, even if it means breaking a few rules along the way.
At the Olympics, you can see Sevens participating in events that require a mix of in-the-moment problem solving but in a way that doesn’t feel limiting. This includes sailing and surfing, where you have to respond to the wind and the waves while also competing against other people. You might also see them competing in rock climbing or mountain biking events. And if anyone was going to choose the decathlon or heptathlon it would be a Seven, why specialize in one event when you can be the Olympic all rounder!
To stretch yourself if you are a Seven:
If you are a Seven there are several sports you can watch to remind yourself that freedom and adventure are not the only path to success.
- To get better at thinking about others, watch team sports like handball and waterpolo.
- To experience the precision and routine of a One, watch tennis, martial arts and rowing.
- To experience the quiet contemplation of Five, watch archery, diving and high jump.
Enneagram Eight, The Challenger
To learn more about Eight:
Enneagram Eights are very comfortable displaying their strength and power. They can easily access excess energy and strength, so seek out sports they can channel that energy into.
At the Olympics, you can see Eights in weightlifting, wrestling, boxing, waterpolo, javelin, shotput and rugby. These sports don’t require precision, artistry, cooperation or even much strategy, but they do require sheer power when the moment calls for it - whether that’s throwing a javelin or thrashing about in a pool with seven other angry players for 8 minutes in water polo.
To stretch yourself if you are a Eights:
If you are a Eight there are several sports you can watch to help you temper your use of power and balance it out with other approaches.
- To experience playing with a team where careful use of power is required, watch 3 on 3 basketball or doubles table tennis.
- To experience the moderated energy of a Five, watch high jump, archery and 1500m track.
- To experience the gracefulness of a Two, watch artistic gymnastics.
Enneagram Nine, The Peacemaker
To learn more about Nine:
Enneagram Nines are more focused on other people’s needs than their own. They find it hard to say no, so may find themselves doing a sport someone else suggested rather than one they chose for themselves. More interested in supporting others, they are likely to take on supporting roles in teams. But when a Nine really connects with their body, in an activity where they are almost in a meditative state, that is when they are able to hear their inner voice most clearly.
Hence at the Olympics, Nines are likely to be running a marathon or heel-toeing in the grueling 50km race walking event. You may even see them in long distance swimming, where they can really sink into a rhythm with their body at a single energetic pace and just go and go until it’s done. They are also likely to be the competitor who sacrifices winning to help another competitor cross the finish line.
To stretch yourself if you are a Nine:
If you are a Nine there are several sports you can watch to help you experience what it’s like to focus on your own agenda.
- To help you get in touch with your anger and frustration, watch boxing.
- To help you set your own goals and be comfortable in the limelight at Three, watch the 50m sprinters as they win their races and climb onto the podium.
- To experience a Sixes ability to anticipate problems and troubleshoot on the go, watch judo, cross country equestrian and table tennis.
The Olympics was never intended to be about which country won the most gold medals. It was about bringing countries together so people could get to know each other a little better, and appreciate our differences. So whatever your type, and whatever your interest in sport, the Olympics offers an incredible opportunity to appreciate all types of people competing in a huge variety of sports. Who knows, you might learn a little more about yourself as well!