The Winter Olympics begin in Sochi with the opening ceremonies that introduce all athletes from each represented nation to the crowds. Some teams are expected to be larger than others, with the odds predicting northern countries like Russia, Canada, and even the US as having the largest Olympic teams.
But as the opening ceremonies get underway, many winter sports fans are already attempting to predict which athletes are most likely to win medals. There are also odds on the total medal count for each respective country, particularly on the number of gold medals each team will win.
Canada is the reigning gold medal champion from the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Canadians won 14 gold medals four years ago, which also set a new record for the total number of gold medals won by one country at a Winter Olympic event.
Many commentators predict that Norway will match the Canadian accomplishment four years ago by winning 14 gold medals in Sochi. The Norwegian team is particularly strong in cross country skiing and the biathlon, two categories with at least 10 separate events, and 10 opportunities to win a gold medal.
Norway is also favoured to win the greatest amount of medals of all colours, displacing the often favoured US Olympic team. The Americans are projected to win the second most number of medals, and analysts predict the US team will also win the second most gold medals, at 13.
The German, Russian, and Canadian Olympic teams are all expected to perform stronger than many other competitors. Who do you bet will be the strongest team in Sochi?