The Final Countdown

Photo Courtesy: The Hill

Samantha Stirmel/Business Manager

The lifetime bans on 28 Russian competitors overturned, making Russia the third largest team participating in Pyeongchang behind the United States with 242 and Canda with 225. In the past, because of doping, Russia has lost a total of 13 assorted medals, but this overturn might bring some of those victories back to them. However, what is not changed is the fact that Russia’s athletes will be competing as neutrals, with no Russian flags in any public view, and no Russian anthem playing if athletes make it to the podium. 11 appeals for doping have been partially upheld for some of Russia’s athletes. So far, the consensus is that Russian athletes competing as neutrals will have their medals count towards Russians total medal count.

On the countdown to the Olympics, many people are predicting what medals will go where. Online, Gracenote has an entire virtual medal table with their predictions. On their table, Germany is first with 40 medals, Norway is second with 37, Canada third with 33, and the United States fourth with 29. Gracenote takes into account the performances of every athlete competing, the table listed on their website by the time of this printing was last updated January 10. Meaning, that Gracenotes calculations will have shifted some medals around by the time they post a follow-up table later this week. 

For the host city, South Korea is expected to dominate the short track, which has been their event since it was introduced in the 1992 Winter Olympics. Since then South Korea contributes 42 of the country’s total 53 medals to this event. Usually, analytics have seen an increase in medal wins by the host country for any of the games, so this one will be specifically interesting because it is not a standard country hosting. 

The United States women’s hockey team has continued being a dominant force throughout the years and seem to be doing well. The team beat rival Canada in the final of the 4 Nations Cup in Tampa in 2017 as well as the last four Women’s World Hockey Championships. Still, their rival sits on their shoulder, and will likely be the most intense game to watch on the ice this Olympics. Nathan Chen in Figure Skating is expected to be a big contender in this Olympics as well. The United States has won a record 49 medals in this event, with 15 of them being gold. Nathan Chen’s performance at the 2017 International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final for men’s singles, as well as his beautiful triumph over the ice at the 2017 Nationals. Some others to look out for are Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, the reigning US National Champions in pairs, the brother-sister team of Maia and Alex Shibutani, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates. All three of these pairs teams have been neck and neck for the past few months with them pulling amazing performances everywhere they go.