During the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia, Canada took home 25 medals, including 10 gold. Will Canada earn more during the upcoming games in Pyeongchang, South Korea? One analyst is confident it will.
Simon Gleave, the head of analysis for Gracenote Sports, believes Canada will take home 31 medals, five of which will be gold. He relies on statistical analysis to predict the medal count for various countries. His current predictions are based on the assumption that Russia’s entire team will be competing and won’t be banned due to doping.
According to Gleave, Canada will win gold medals in the following events: men’s and women’s curling, freestyle skiing, snowboarding, and men’s hockey. He thinks the United States will win the gold in women’s hockey.
He predicts current women’s bobsled champion Kaillie Humphries (who won gold in both 2010 and 2014) will receive a silver medal.
If Russia’s whole team competes, Gleave believes Germany will have the highest medal count (14 golds and 35 overall), followed by Norway (12 golds and 32 overall), and the United States (10 golds and 29 overall). His picks for rounding out the top 10 in gold medals: France (9), Austria (7), South Korea (7), Netherlands (6), Russia (6) and China (6).
If Russia has limited competitors, he thinks Germany and the Netherlands will top the medallist. Russia’s eligibility may be determined as early as December or as late as the eve of the opening of the Games in February. Most of Canada’s team will qualify within the next 90 days.
According to Gleave, the most difficult sport to predict is men’s hockey since NHL players will not compete. He uses data from world championships to make his list. Gleave will calculate his medal count again in January and says there will likely be some “minor changes” when he does an update.
How dependable are his predictions? During the 2016 Rio Olympics, 80 percent of medalists were from a top-eight list he created for every event.
Chris Overholt, chief executive officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee, won’t speculate how many medals Canada will win. He told CBC: “We don’t make any effort to kind of pin down the particulars of how medals will be won or not won at an Olympic Games. It’s an impossible science. We certainly expect to contend for the No. 1 position.”