It may not seem like Americans feel very warmly toward Canada right now. The Canadian women’s Olympic hockey team just beat the American team 3-2 in overtime Thursday to win gold. On Friday, the men’s Olympic hockey teams are facing each other in the semifinals. As Jake Simpson writes for The Atlantic Thursday, Canada has owned the U.S. in Olympic hockey for nearly a century. Americans would really, really like to pull off a victory.
But don’t let the budding sports rivalry make you think that relations between America and its northern neighbor are fraught. In reality, according to a new poll from Gallup, Americans feel better about Canada than they do about any other country in the world. There may be a rivalry, but it’s one full of love.
Ninety-three percent of Americans have a positive view of Canada, Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport said in a video published Thursday based on the new 2014 World Affairs polling. That beats out American feelings towards Great Britain (90 percent positive), Germany (81 percent), and Japan (80 percent).
If you want to see some real distaste, check out how Americans feel about North Korea. Only 11 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of that country. Or even how Americans feel about their Olympic host: Just 34 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Russia, which is one of the lowest levels toward the country seen in recent decades, Newport said.
So sure, take out your anger at Canada for beating the U.S. women’s hockey team and winning the gold medal for the fourth winter games in a row. And definitely get your best game face on for Friday. But when you dig deep to find that competitive rage, don’t be surprised if you come up a little short.