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Analytics company predicts 33 medals for Canadian team in Pyeongchang


CALGARY — An international data analytics company predicts Canada will win a whopping 33 medals, including men's hockey gold, at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

In a virtual medal table released Wednesday, Gracenote projects the Canadian team will rank third in total medals behind Germany (40) and Norway (37) and ahead of the United States (29).

Gracenote delivers music, video and sports metadata to entertainment services and companies.

The company said in a release Wednesday it based its statistical model for Pyeongchang on individual and team results from previous World Cup, world championships and Olympic Games.

The 2018 Winter Olympics open Feb. 9 and close Feb. 25.

The 33 medals forecasted for the Canadian team (seven gold, 12 silver and 14 bronze) would wallop the country's previous top total of 26 claimed by the host team at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., although the breakdown there was 14 gold, seven silver and five bronze.

Canada's medal haul from 2014 will also be 26 (10, 10 and 6) when the luge relay team is officially upgraded from fourth to bronze. 

Stripped of multiple medals by the International Olympic Committee for doping violations, host Russia tumbled from first to fourth in the 2014 overall medal table.

Gracenote thinks Canada will win men's hockey gold without its top NHL players, but predicts silver for the women's hockey team.

With the opening ceremonies less than a month away, the Canadian Olympic Committee has yet to state what the Canadian team's medal target is for Pyeongchang.

Finishing first overall in the total medal count was the goal in both 2010 and 2014. Canada was third in 2010 and will tie with Norway for second in 2014 at 26 medals.

COC chief executive officer Chris Overholt has said "we certainly expect to contend for the No. 1 position,'' in Pyeongchang.

Gracenote has been increasingly bullish on Canada's medal prospects in Pyeongchang, predicting 29 a year ago and upping that to 31 in November.

But Russia is the wild card in the prediction game as 42 athletes banned from Pyeongchang because of doping violations have appealed their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Canada stands to gain medals in some sports in the absence of some Russians, but which athletes will be allowed to compete under the "neutral" banner of Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) is still to be determined.

"We have removed all 19 of the projected OAR medallists from this version of the virtual medal table," Gracenote said in the statement. 

"The athletes who are allowed to compete will be included in our final virtual medal table release just before the Games begin."

Gracenote predicted gold for bobsledder Kaillie Humphries, the Kevin Koe and Rachel Homan curling teams, figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond, moguls skier Mikael Kingsbury, snowboarder Max Parrot and the men's hockey team.

A month out from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the company forecasted 16 medals for Canada (three gold, eight silver and five bronze). The team won 22 with four gold, three silver and 13 bronze.

Gracenote correctly predicted the majority of Canada's medals in Rio would be won by women, who produced 16.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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