Analyzing Infostrada’s Olympic medal predictions

Shaun White

The Olympic medal prediction service Infostrada released an update of its Sochi 2014 medal table and event-by-event picks Monday.

Here’s a look at the highlights:

Norway and Germany were tapped to win the most overall medals (37), with Norway winning the most gold (15).

The U.S. took home the most medals in 2010, also 37 (a record), but those were a North American Games.The U.S. has never won the most medals at an Asian or European Winter Games.

The record for gold medals at a Winter Games was set by Canada in 2010 (14).

Norway hasn’t won the most medals at an Olympics since it hosted in Lillehammer in 1994.

Here are Infostrada’s picks for the top 15 countries in the medal standings:


Shaun White will not win a gold medal.

Infostrada has White winning a silver medal in the halfpipe (behind Swiss rival Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov) and no medal in the new Olympic snowboarding event of slopestyle. It also has Kelly Clark winning her first gold medal in the halfpipe since 2002, with world champion Arielle Gold, 17, taking silver.

Lindsey Vonn will better her 2010 Olympic medal tally.

Infostrada picks the U.S. to rack up Alpine skiing medals. Vonn will defend her gold in the downhill and add super-G silver (with Julia Mancuso taking bronze). Vonn won super-G bronze in 2010. Mikaela Shiffrin, 18, will follow up her world title in the slalom with an Olympic gold.

Ted Ligety will win three medals: gold in the giant slalom, gold in the super combined and silver in the super-G. If that happens, it would mark the best medal haul by an American at a Winter Games since Eric Heiden‘s five gold medals in 1980. Bode Miller will win zero medals, according to Infostrada.

Tina Maze will better Ligety with three golds and one bronze, accounting for four of Slovenia’s six medals.

The U.S. will not win a singles figure skating medal.

That hasn’t happened since 1936. Infostrada’s men’s figure skating medalists: Patrick ChanDaisuke TakahashiYuzuru Hanyu. Women’s figure skating medalists: Carolina KostnerMao Asada-Yuna Kim. That’s right, Yuna Kim wins a bronze medal. Remember, she’s out for more than a month with a foot injury.

Infostrada did pick Meryl Davis and Charlie White to win ice dance gold after they won silver in 2010, and the U.S. to win the first figure skating team competition.

No medals for U.S. or Canada in men’s hockey.

Infostrada picked Sweden for gold, Russia for silver and Finland for bronze. Neither the U.S. nor Canada have made the podium in men’s hockey at a non-North American Olympics since 1994.

It did pick the U.S. women to beat Canada in the gold-medal game, which would be the first U.S. gold since its debut in 1998.

In other sports, Infostrada’s podium prognosticators also say Shani Davis will win his third straight Olympic title in the 1000m. Heather Richardson will win the first U.S. women’s speedskating medal since 2002, a silver in the 1000m. Steve Holcomb grabs silver in the two-man but no medal in the four-man, where he’s the defending champion.

Sarah Hendrickson will return from her knee surgery to win silver in the first women’s ski jumping competition. Kikkan Randall will win the first U.S. women’s cross-country skiing medal ever, a gold in the sprint freestyle. Hannah Kearney will successfully defend her moguls gold. David Wise and Tom Wallisch will win the first Olympic ski halfpipe and ski slopestyle competitions. Jamie Anderson will win the first women’s snowboard slopestyle event.

Finally, Norway will win biathlon gold in the men’s relay and the mixed relay. If Ole Einar Bjørndalen competes in both, he will become the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time with 13 medals, passing retired Norwegian cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie. Four men go in the men’s relay, but the mixed is two men and two women, and Bjørndalen did not compete in the mixed event at this year’s World Championships.

NBC’s Olympic trials/run-up broadcast schedule

Ukraine officials say athletes should not compete in Olympic qualifiers with Russians

Ukraine Russia Fencing

The Ukraine government decided that its athletes should not compete in 2024 Olympic qualifying events if Russians are present, according to several media reports in Ukraine.

“At a meeting of the government, a protocol decision was made on the proposal of colleague (sports minister Vadym) Guttsait that we take part in qualifying competitions only where there are no Russians,” government minister Oleh Nemchinov said Thursday, according to a Reuters translation of a Ukraine public broadcaster report. “Accordingly, participation outside these criteria may be grounds for depriving federations of their national status.”

A decision has not been published on the Ukraine government website.

Guttsait is also the president of Ukraine’s National Olympic Committee. A message was sent to the committee late Thursday seeking comment.

On Tuesday, the IOC updated its recommendations for the possible participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in international competition. Previously, the IOC recommended no Russians or Belarusians be allowed to compete.

Tuesday’s update called for strict measures should international sports federations decide to readmit Russians and Belarusians who do not actively support the war as neutral athletes in individual events.

“I want to tell our fellow athletes who are worried that due to the IOC measures and the admission of Russians or Belarusians to competitions, and accordingly Ukrainians will not be able to participate, that their careers will be broken,” Nemchinov said, according to the Reuters translation of the public broadcaster report. “But your life and that of your children will remain.”

The International Fencing Federation (FIE) decided earlier in March that it planned to readmit Russians and Belarusians starting in the second half of April, which is also when the 2024 Olympic qualifying period begins in that sport.

Most other international federations for Summer Olympic sports are so far still barring Russians and Belarusians. Some have said they are considering the IOC’s updated recommendations as they monitor their positions.

After Nemchinov’s reported comments, the Ukraine fencing federation press secretary said late Thursday that its fencers will not compete against Russians.

“Ukrainian fencers will not only refuse to compete against Russian and Belarusian athletes but will not participate in events of any level where Russian or Belarusian athletes will be competing,” the press secretary said in an email.

Ukraine won at least one fencing medal at each of the last five Olympics.

“We are all professionals, and if I will fence, which can be or cannot, I think I will be professional,” Ukrainian fencer Olga Kharlan, a four-time Olympic medalist and a four-time individual world champion, said Wednesday regarding a possible boycott. “As a Ukrainian citizen, it’s tough to even imagine how to stand next to [Russians], to know that they’re supporting or they’re in silence and we haven’t heard any word from them or we know that they represent army that’s shelling Ukraine every day.”

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Wimbledon reverses ban on Russia, Belarus tennis players

Wimbledon Russia

Russian and Belarusian players will be able to compete at Wimbledon as neutral athletes after the All England Club on Friday reversed its ban from last year.

The players must sign declarations of neutrality and comply with “appropriate conditions,” including not expressing support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision, not taken lightly or without a great deal of consideration for those who will be impacted,” All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said in a statement.

The players cannot receive funding from the Russian or Belarusian states, including sponsorship from companies operated or controlled by the states.

Those impacted include Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus and Russian players Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev.

Other tennis tournaments have allowed Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutral athletes.

“We also consider alignment between the Grand Slams to be increasingly important in the current tennis environment,” the club said.

The same conditions will apply for Lawn Tennis Association tournaments used by players as grass-court warmups for the sport’s oldest Grand Slam tournament.

The women’s and men’s professional tennis tours last year imposed heavy fines on the LTA and threatened to pull its tournaments. The ATP and WTA had also responded to last year’s ban by not awarding ranking points for Wimbledon — an unprecedented move against the prestigious event.

“There was a strong and very disappointing reaction from some governing bodies in tennis to the position taken by the All England Club and the LTA last year with consequences which, if continued, would be damaging to the interests of players, fans, The Championships and British tennis,” the club said.

This year’s Wimbledon tournament will start on July 3. The women’s final is scheduled for July 15 and the men’s final on July 16.

The All England Club said the conditions were developed through talks with the British government, the LTA and “international stakeholder bodies in tennis.”

The club’s statement described “personal player declarations” but didn’t provide details. The LTA said the players and support staff “will be required to sign neutrality declarations” similar to those used in other sports.

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