Best/worst, Sochi medal projections vs. reality: Feb. 10

Norway continues to slide away from its projected record medal haul, but South Korea was the country that had the no-good, horrible, very bad day.

The USA may trail in the medal count but is still right on projection. So is Canada. You’d think North American bias would kick in at some point.


The original medal projections were: Norway 39, USA 35, Canada 30, Russia 26, Germany 23, Austria 22, South Korea 15, Netherlands 14, France 12, Switzerland 11, Sweden 10

If the rest of the projections were to come true, the final medal count would be: Norway 35, USA 35, Russia 30, Canada 28, Austria 22, Germany 21, Netherlands 17, France 12, Sweden 12, South Korea 11, Switzerland 11


South Korea (-3 today, -4 overall): The speedskating-mad nation is 0-for-4 in projected medals so far, missing out today on two medals in short-track and one in long-track.

Norway (-1 today, -4 overall): Ole Einar Bjoerndalen can’t win them all, but what happened to Emil Hegle Svendsen?


Netherlands (+2 today, +3 overall): A sweep in a sprint speedskating event? Go figure.

Russia (+1 today, +4 overall): Missed out in biathlon but got one in short-track and grabbed a stunner in moguls.


USA (even today, even overall): OK, so today’s medal (Julia Mancuso, Alpine combined) came in a different event than the projection (Patrick Deneen, freestyle moguls). They still have two golds and three bronze, exactly as projected.

Canada (even today, -2 overall): Two medals in moguls? Called it. Medal in short-track? Gold instead of projected bronze.


Biggest clutch performance: Julia Mancuso could stumble down every hill on the World Cup circuit, and you’d still have to take her seriously in the Olympics. She tore up the downhill phase of the combined and managed to hang on to the podium in the slalom.

Biggest disappointment: Neither U.S. curling team looked particularly good.

Wildest game: Men’s curling: Denmark 11, Russia 10. Going by Bill Mallon’s factsheet, I don’t think we’ve seen a higher-scoring game in the modern era.

Media trend we’re all sick of reading: Hey, curling is actually an interesting sport! Wow! We wouldn’t know that … if we hadn’t been alive in 2010. And 2006. And 2002. And for some of us, the years in between.

Best tribute/cry for help: Trade for Kessel! The other one!

Picture that says it all: NED, NED, NED

More on Storify


(minor correction to fix Italy/Japan confusion)

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Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

4 thoughts on “Best/worst, Sochi medal projections vs. reality: Feb. 10”

  1. Not really a shock. Short-track is wide-open. He wasn’t picked to medal here. I believe he’s picked to win a medal elsewhere, and he’s certainly capable.

  2. I’m curious to see how you spin the US performances vs predictions on Tuesday… Only 2 medals out of 6 predicted… Also, I’m no curling expert, but I’m currently watching the replay of GB/USA to figure out how somebody can score 7 in a single end…Could that be some sort of record?

  3. It is indeed an Olympic record. See today’s recap.

    Just one of those days where a lot of things went wrong. All different circumstances. I probably should’ve dropped Hendrickson out of the projections, given her injury. The halfpipe guys didn’t adjust to the, um, “idiosyncratic” halfpipe (though White did have the best score of the day!). Randall was baffling. Richardson was a little off her best.

    The men’s curling team isn’t surprising me. The women? Stunned. Didn’t have them in the medals, but I didn’t have them last.

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