The Canadian Olympic Committee is very careful to make a forecast of the medals that can be achieved at Pyeongchang’s (South Korea) Olympic Games, which will be held from next year’s February 9 to 25. Although they have preferred to maintain absolute discretion, CEO Chris Overholt is confident that great results can be accomplished. “We don’t make any effort to define the details of how medals will be won or not in the Olympic Games”, he has said on more than one occasion, to add that it is “an impossible science, we certainly hope to compete for the first position.”
PyeongChang earned the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics on July 6, 2011, when the country obtained 63 votes that gave them the victory over Munich (25) and Annecy (7) in the first voting roun. It was the third time that PyeongChang was running for the Winter Games, before finishing second against Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.
The Canadian team took home 25 medals from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, including 10 gold medals. Simon Gleave, the head of analysis for Gracenote Sports, has used a sophisticated statistical model to predict the main countries that will win medals at the Olympic Games in Korea. For this, he created a virtual chart of medals in the event that the Russian team finally participates with all its components, something that is still unclear. On the Russian delegation hangs the disqualification threat for the numerous doping cases that have been discovered in recent years.
“At this moment we assume with everything we are doing that Russia is in”, Gleave told The Associated Press. If, therefore, this virtual medal chart is respected, the forecasts indicate that Canada will finish third in the general classification at the Winter Games with 31 medals, only five of them gold. Gleave projects that Canadian gold medals will come from freestyle skier Mikael Kingsbury, snowboarder Max Parrot and the men’s hockey team. It is not so clear with the female competition but he bets for one gold medal for the United States. It also seems quite clear some medal for the bobsleigh star, Kaillie Humphries, who won the Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014. Whenever Russia compete, bets indicate that Germany will win the highest number of gold medals and probably occupy the first place in the medals chart.
Germany is expected to win 14 gold medals and 35 in total, followed by Norway with 12 gold ones and 32 in total. The United States would be the following with 10 gold titles and 29 in total. While waiting for the Games’ final classifications, not all athletes still have their place insured, and assuming that the injuries are respectful, here is a list of five Canadian athletes with real aspirations to achieve a gold medal in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The Canadian cross-country skiing star arrives with a spirit of revenge for the Korean event after staying at the podium and the medals’ gates at the Sochi Games four years ago. In the last Olympic event three French skiers stayed ahead of him, and that defeat was surrounded by a certain controversy that was named by the media as the “pants case” or “Pantsgate”. The reason is that the accusation was spread that the French team had changed their athletes’ ski pants shape to achieve a better aerodynamic, something that the regulation didn’t allow. However, Canada’s and Slovenia’s appeals, which would have achieved a medal if the appeal was successful, were rejected. In spite of everything, Leman lost the medal in the race because he fell in the last curve of the route. The Calgary native is one of the great Canadian bets in Pyeongchang.
The two-time Olympic bobsled champion at the Olympic Games in Vancouver and Sochi is once again one of Canada’s great hopes for one of the precious metals in the Korean Games. In fact, she aspires to get the three medals at stake, for which she has done a great physical and technical work in recent years. She has already announced that she will try to win gold this time with a different brakeman. Humphries partnered with Heather Moyse to win gold in 2010 and 2014. Moyse, who retired shortly after, recently announced that she plans to return to the sport, this time with the goal of helping one of Canada’s youngest riders climb to the podium. It is likely that Humphries has Melissa Lotholz or Cynthia Appiah behind her in the sleigh at the 2018 Games.
The 21-year-old figure skater seems to arrive in Korea at the right time to aspire to the Olympic gold medal. The native of Marystown, NL, won the individual women’s competition in the last Skate Canada edition held a few weeks ago and also won the silver in the World Championship last year held in Helsinki (Finland), behind the Russian Evgenia Medvedeva. Osmond is considered the best female skater in Canada since Joannie Rochette, who won the bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Rochette’s podium appearance meant Canada won the first Canadian Olympic medal in women’s figure skating since Calgary’s 1988 Games.
The veteran sprinter is no stranger to the great effort made in recent years to overcome a great adversity situation. He returned from a serious motorcycle accident in 2015 but shortly after suffered a stroke, which again pushed him away from the competition stages. Many thought that his sports career had ended but against all odds, Morrison, a 32-year-old from Fort St. John, BC, is back in top form and looking to add a new metal to his four Olympic medals collection in the Koreans Games. Morrison stepped on the Olympic podium for the first time at Turin’s 2006 Games. He won silver (1,000 meters) and bronze (1,500) at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.
Regina’s 23-year-old snowboarder battled the pain caused by a rib injury to win the Olympic bronze in Sochi. It was an epic connotations conquest for the conditions in which it was achieved. A major air competition has been incorporated into the Olympic program for 2018 and, like slopestyle, it seems that it’s designed to exploit McMorris’s tremendous technical qualities. He has done double before, winning slopestyle and big air events in 2012’s Winter X Games.
Mikaël Kingsbury is the most popular Canadian freestyle skier in the country and with the greatest exterior projection. Born in 1992 in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, he is considered one of the most talented skiers of all time. He is the FIS Freestyle World Cup current champion (he has won six times) for both moguls and freestyle in general, holding the records of most of the men’s titles of Moguls World Cup and Overall Freestyle World Cup. He won a silver medal in Sochi 2014 Olympic Games and has won a couple of world championships.
TESSA VIRTUE Y SCOTT MOIR
The best Canada‘s ice dance duo returns to the Olympic stage with the challenge of revalidating the title won eight years ago at home. The winners at Vancouver 2010 Games, Virtue and Moir also won silver medals in both ice dance and team events in Sochi. The pair from London (Virtue) and Ilderton, Ont., (Moir) is making one of the most solid and successful seasons of their long career, which is a great omen for the Korean event. 2018 could see them at the top of the Olympic Games’ podium and the World Championship, which they have already won twice.
These will be the fourth Olympic Games for the four-time Canadian gold medalist. The short track speed quebecois skater (33 years old) has had great success in individual and relay events. Hamelin has won 3 gold and 1 silver medals at the Winter Olympics of 2006, 2010 and 2014. He is also two-time world champion in 500m distance, titles achieved in 2007 and 2009.