Norway predicted to top medals table, Canada to drop in 2022 Winter Olympics

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Norway is predicted to top the medals table and Canada to drop to fifth in the Winter Olympics in Beijing, according to one forecast released a year before the Games are to open.

The Beijing Olympics are set to begin on Feb. 4, 2022.

Norway, which also topped the final medal standings with 39 in the last Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is picked to win 25 gold medals and 41 overall.

The forecast was released Thursday by Gracenote Sports, which supplies statistical analysis for sports leagues around the world.

Canada was third in Pyeongchang with 29 medals, including 11 gold, behind Norway and Germany (31).

But Gracenote has the Canadian team tied for fifth with the Netherlands at 21 medals, and two fewer gold than the Dutch with five.

The team from Russia is forecasted to be second in total medals (six gold, 34 overall), followed by Germany (12-31) and the United States (11-24).

Forecasting is never easy, but it is particularly tricky during the COVID-19 pandemic with some sports and training cut back.

The name of the team from Russia has not yet been decided.

Competitors at the Pyeongchang Games were known as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” after sanctions were imposed on the country following its part in a doping scandal dating back to the 2014 Sochi Games.

Gracenote says that “the Olympic Athletes from Russia are forecasted to win more medals than any team representing Russia or the Soviet Union at a Winter Olympics.”

Gracenote predicts host country China will not improve much from its results in South Korea, winning two gold medals and eight overall.

The Beijing Olympics are also shrouded in controversy with human rights groups calling attention to more than 1 million Muslim Uighurs who have been held in internment camps in western China. Uighur rights groups have labeled them the “Genocide Olympics.”

Many human rights groups have asked for the Games to be moved, which the IOC has declined to do, and are also asking for a “diplomatic boycott.”

— With files from The Canadian Press

The Associated Press