With 100 days to go before the 2018 PyeongChang Games opening ceremony, it’s time to present Gracenote Sports’ latest Virtual Medal Table Olympics predictions. This report updates the medal table based on current performance results data and calls out changes in the standings since our initial publication in February. In addition, we take a more in-depth look at Germany’s expected resurgence in next year’s Winter Games, explore what the medal table might look like if Russia does not compete and focus on the potential stars and fast-improving competitors amongst participants.
- Germany has overtaken Norway since our initial Virtual Medal Table publication in February and is forecast to finish top of the medal table for the first time since 2006.
- Norway, Canada, U.S.A. will round out the top four podium placements for total medal counts with Russia and France currently tied at fifth place.
- Potential Russian absence would strengthen Germany’s place at the top of the podium. Netherlands would also benefit three additional medals in Russia’s absence.
- Laura Dahlmeier, Martin Fourcade, Martin Johnsrud Sundby, and Heather Bergsma vying to become the stars of PyeongChang 2018.
- Christine Scheyer, Nathan Chen, Mari Laukkanen and Mathilde Gremaud are coming into contention for possible medals in 2018.
- Germany is set to top the medal table with winning the most medals of a combined 35 medals (14 gold, 12 silver and 9 bronze). Germany is projected to have its most successful Winter Games since 2002 with then record of 36 total medals. Germany’s strongest sport at PyeongChang 2018 is likely to be biathlon with 10 medals as projected by the Virtual Medal Table, which is one fewer than the Olympic record of 11, also achieved by Germany at the 2006 Games.
- Norway is currently placed second on the podium with winning the second most medals of a combined 32 medals (12 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze). PyeongChang Olympics is projected to be Norway’s best performance yet having never achieved winning more than 26 total medals in both 1994 and 2014 Winter Games. Norway projected to garner 18 medals in cross country skiing, which is five more than the Olympic record of 13 by the Soviet Union at the 1988 Games. Additionally, if Norway wins three snowboard medals, it will be the most they would have won in the sport at a Winter Games, beating the two won in 1996.
- Canada is predicted to take third place, winning a combined 31 medals (5 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze). Canada will win medals in 10 different sports (out of 15) at the 2018 Winter Games according to Gracenote’s Virtual Medal Table. This would equal the Olympic record by USA (2002), Canada (2006), Germany (2010) and Russia (2014).
- U.S.A. is forecast to be fourth on the podium with 29 medals (10 gold, 7 silver and 12 bronze). Team USA is set to win medals in 10 different sports (out of 15) at the 2018 Winter Games, according to Gracenote’s Virtual Medal Table. The USA could also win its first Olympic medal in biathlon with Lowell Bailey currently projected silver in the 20km individual event.
- Russia and France are currently tied at fifth place with a combined 21 medals. However, France is expected to take home three more gold medals than Russia (6 gold, 5 silver and 10 bronze). The total medal record for Russia was during the 2014 Sochi Games winning 33 medals. Russia’s dominance of figure skating is expected to continue with another three medals, including two golds, forecast by the Virtual Medal Table. At the last six Winter Games, Russian figure skaters have won 14 of the 26 gold medals available and occupied 26 of the 75 podium places. Next best is USA with 4 and 12 respectively.
- France is also expected to win 21 medals (9 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze). This would smash the country’s best ever Winter Olympic total of 15 medals, achieved at the last Games in Sochi in 2014. The French team is heavily reliant on biathletes Martin Fourcade and Marie Dorin Habert to deliver this record as the sport is responsible for eight medals in the latest Gracenote Sports Virtual Medal Table forecast. France’s record Olympic haul in the sport is the six medals the team secured in 2010.
The Virtual Medal Table considers results data from critical competitions posted by all athletes since the last Winter Games. Based on the VMT, the most likely stars of next year’s Winter Olympics are:
Laura Dahlmeier (Germany, Biathlon)
Five gold medals (10km pursuit, 12.5km mass start, 15km individual, 4x6km relay, 2x6km +2×7.5km relay), and one silver medal (7.5km sprint)
Martin Fourcade (France, Biathlon)
Four gold medals (10km sprint, 12.5km pursuit, 15km mass start, 20km individual), and one silver medal (2x6km + 2×7.5km relay)
Martin Johnsrud Sundby (Norway, Cross Country Skiing)
Three gold medals (15km freestyle, 50km classic style, 4x10km relay), and one silver medal (2x15km skiathlon)
Marcel Hirscher (Austria, Alpine Skiing)
Three gold medals (Giant slalom, Slalom, Combined)
Sven Kramer (Netherlands, Speed Skating)
Three gold medals (5000m, 10000m, Team Pursuit)
Heather Bergsma (United States, Speed Skating)
Two gold medals (1000m, 1500m), and one bronze medal (500m)
Gracenote also names top rising stars to keep an eye out for during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The rising stars are calculated by looking at the biggest improvements in ratings over the last year. Here are six stars to keep an eye out for come February along with projected medal counts:
During the 2016/2017 alpine skiing season, young Austrian skier Christine Scheyer consistently finished in the top-15 of the Downhill and Super G World Cup events in which she took part. Her only podium finish was in the Alternmarkt/Zauchenzee race in January but her consistency in her first full World Cup season highlights her as one of the rising stars with a shot at an Olympic medal next year. The Gracenote Sports Virtual Medal Table currently ranks Scheyer 7th in Downhill.
Mari Laukkanen won her first World Cup races in March 2017, emerging victorious in both the 7.5km sprint and 10km pursuit events in Holmenkollen. Her results over the last year have pushed her into Olympic medal reckoning and the VMT currently ranks her 7th best over the 10km pursuit and 11th in the 15km individual events.
Aged just 17 at the time, Chen posted impressive results in four major competitions in 2016 and 2017 before finishing in sixth place at the World Championships in April 2017. The VMT currently ranks Chen in fifth position for next year’s men’s singles event at the Winter Games but, given his age and senior results last season, he could be a dark horse for the podium.
Two podium places in major events in 2017 and a fifth place at the World Championships has brought Gremaud into the reckoning for an Olympic podium place in slopestyle. Still only 17, Gremaud’s performances in 2017 have put her in 11th place on the Virtual Medal Table and she is likely to improve further before the Winter Games begin in February.
Eight top-10 finishes including a second place in Lahti have pushed Finn Eero Hirvonen into the limelight in the sport of Nordic Combined. Hirvonen is currently ranked 11th by the VMT but, at just 21 years old, he is still on the rise.
A bronze medal and two sixth places at this year’s World Championships brought 17 year old Kim Ji Yoo into the Virtual Medal Table top-8 for both 500m (currently sixth) and 1000m (eighth). The former World Junior champion and Youth Olympic Games gold medallist could be ready to cause a shock at her home Winter Games in 2018.
Two World Cup wins at the end of the 2016/2017 season were Dai Dai Ntab’s best results in his first senior season on the World Cup circuit. Ntab didn’t consistently perform in that first season but his results are good enough to place him sixth on the VMT for the men’s 500m, albeit behind two of his compatriots.
Similar to the Rio Summer Games in 2016, Russia is facing yet another potential ban. However, it appears more likely Russia will be allowed to participate in PyeongChang. Gracenote’s Virtual Medal Table currently predicts Russia will come in at eighth place overall.
If Russia were to face a ban, those 21 medals would be distributed to 11 different countries with Germany (+4) and the Netherlands (+3) being the largest beneficiaries of those medals. Russia’s six gold medals would go to the Netherlands (+2), Canada (+1), Germany (+1), Japan (+1) and Norway (+1).
The projected top four of the medal table when ordered on golds would therefore remain the same as our current forecast but the Netherlands would be predicted to move up two places to finish fifth, above Austria and host nation South Korea. This move would move Austria to sixth and South Korea to finish seventh place.
Gracenote’s Virtual Medal Table is a statistical model based on individual and team results in previous Olympics Games, World Championships and World Cups to forecast the most likely gold, silver and bronze medal winners by country. This information is presented in simple to understand predictions and seamless data feeds that enable broadcasters, media publishers and pay TV operators to deliver unique Olympic-focused stories across Web, mobile and broadcast properties.
Today, Gracenote Sports offers rich data on 4,500 of the world’s most popular leagues and competitions as well as a deep trove of historical Olympics information going back to the very first modern games in 1896. For a closer look at the full Virtual Medal Table, its features and methodology, please visit: http://sportsdemo1.gracenote.com/documentation/vmt.