Unless Alexander Zubkov crashes on his home track and Norway sweeps the 50k cross-country race on Sunday, Russia will be the first host country to finish atop the medal count since … Norway, in 1994.
If you prefer following gold medal counts to overall medal counts, you’re no fun, and possibly a little pedantic. But the last host country to have the most gold medals was Canada, last time.
A few bits of medal trivia:
– 26 countries have won medals in Sochi, tying the number from last time. In fact, they’re the same 26.
– The projections had 25 countries winning medals. Slovakia and Croatia weren’t projected for medals but came through in biathlon (Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina, gold) and Alpine skiing (Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic, silver). Liechtenstein did not get its projected medal, thanks to Tina Weirather’s ill-timed training crash.
– Russia and the Netherlands are locked in a battle for most improved. Russia won 15 medals in 2010, only three gold, but have 29 in 2014 with another one likely tomorrow. The Netherlands jumped from eight medals in 2010 to 24 this year.
Original projections: Norway 39, USA 35, Canada 30, Russia 26, Germany 23, Austria 22, South Korea 15, Netherlands 14, France 12, Switzerland 11, Sweden 10, Japan 7, Italy 7, China 6, Czech Republic 6
The current count: Russia 29, USA 27, Norway 26, Canada 24, Netherlands 24, Germany 19, Austria 17, France 15, Sweden 14, Switzerland 11, China 9, South Korea and several others 8.
If the three remaining projections were to come true (and they can’t, because we know Russia won’t medal in hockey), we’d end up with: Russia 33, USA 28, Norway 27, Canada 25, Netherlands 24, Germany 20, Austria 17, France 15, Sweden 15, Switzerland 11, China 9, South Korea 8, Czech Republic 8, Japan 8, Italy 8. (Also, Slovenia 8, from an original projection of 5.)
We know Finland will take hockey bronze for its fifth medal, and Sweden and Canada will each take a hockey medal. We’re halfway through the four-man bobsled, and it’s very close between Russia, Latvia, Germany and the USA. There’s an outside chance of a second medal for Germany or Russia, or possibly one medal for Britain or Switzerland. The original projection was Russia, Germany, USA. If I had to predict it now, I’d say Russia, Latvia, USA.
The cross-country picks were Norway, Russia, Russia. Based on form, I’d say Norway, Finland, Russia.
So tomorrow’s projected medal count: Russia 2, Finland 2, Norway 1, Sweden 1, Canada 1, Latvia 1, USA 1.
So the final guess for the final medal count is: Russia 31, USA 28, Norway 27, Canada 25, Netherlands 24, Germany 19, Austria 17, France 15, Sweden 15, etc.
Germany (+2 today, -3 overall): Rallying late in the Games with success in biathlon and snowboarding today. In position to finish at -3 if the bobsled team comes through. (Or get back to even by sweeping the 50k cross-country.)
Russia (+1 today, +7 overall): Vic Wild did it again, the biathlon men picked up their projected relay gold, and the speedskating women added one more.
Austria (+1 today, -5 overall): Projected for a big haul of four medals from seven events today, and they did even better with five.
Most audacious goal: Mikaela Shiffrin says she’s going for five golds in 2018, one better than Janica Kostelic’s record. She’ll need to pick up the speed events in a hurry.
Worst bobsled finish: A Canadian sled wound up upside-down.
Worst teammate: See, the Dutch speedskaters aren’t perfect.
Worst political display:
Worst illness timing:
Biggest sign that this is all ending: