Canada to win 13 gold medals in Sochi: Associated Press
Projections give Canada 31 medals overall
The Associated Press has released their Sochi Olympic projections, and they've got Canada down for 13 gold medals and 31 medals overall.
The total medal count, which includes seven silver and 11 bronze, would be six more medals than achieved in Vancouver in 2010. The gold medal count four years ago was 14, capped off by Canada's gold in men's hockey.
The AP has Canada defending that title, denying Alex Ovechkin in the final of his dream of winning Olympic gold on home ice in Russia. The Canadian women will bow to the United States in hockey, it is predicted.
Canada will earn a whopping four gold and 10 medals overall in freestyle skiing according to the forecast. The winners? Dara Howell, Marielle Thompson, Mike Riddle and Mikael Kingsbury, in a 1-2 finish for Canada in moguls with Alex Bilodeau.
Charles Hamelin would arguably be the man of the Olympics for Canada, given the AP picks, having a hand in three of the country's four medals in the sport (two gold, one silver).
With respect to other Canadian star athletes, the pick is for Kaillie Humphries to get the best of U.S. competitor Elana Myers, while Patrick Chan will get over recent big competition jitters to win figure skating gold ahead of Japanese teen Yuzuru Hanyu.
The script will be flipped in ice dance from four years ago in Vancouver, with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir earning silver behind friendly American rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White.
The Canadians are seen as the likely winners of the inaugural figure skating team competition.
Mixed results in curling
In curling, Brad Jacobs and his rink will prevail over Niklas Edin of Sweden, it is said, which would be a reversal of their world championship final result last year.
Jennifer Jones and her Manitoba-based team are pegged to earn bronze in women's curling.
Christine Nesbitt won't be defending her title in the 1,000 metres in long track speed skating, instead settling for bronze at 1,500 to go with a silver in women's team pursuit.
The news agency projects Canada's 20-year medal drought in alpine skiing will come to an end, with Calgary's Jan Hudec winning bronze in super-G and Marie-Michele Gagnon of Lac Etchemin, Que., taking bronze in super-combined.
Hudec is currently battling a back injury, but hopes to compete in Sochi.
More curious is the pick of Jasey Jay Anderson winning his second career gold medal parallel giant slalom snowboarding. Anderson's results this season would make such a result a pleasant surprise for Canada.
Mark McMorris won't even land on the podium for the Olympic debut of slopestyle, according to the AP crystal ball, but Canadian Maxence Parrot will ride his recent hot streak to gold in the event, to help round out four medals in snowboarding.
Canada will have just Alex Gough's bronze to show in luge, despite podium-worthy results in the "new" team relay competition.
Canadian athletes in skeleton and biathlon will be shut out, as will the cross-country team, despite some podium finishes in recent years at the World Cup and world championship level.
Other notable international results: Yuna Kim of South Korea will become the first since Katarina Witt in the 1980s to repeat as ladies figure skating champ, Sara Takanashi of Japan will take the inaugural women's ski jumping competition, and Norwegian big man Aksel Lund Svindal will win three alpine gold medals, which would be a mighty feat indeed.
It should be noted that there are 98 medal events in Sochi beginning on Feb. 8, an increase of a dozen from Vancouver four years ago.