The Winter Games Virtual Medal Table

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Norway could return to top of medal table

Norway failed to win a summer Olympic gold medal for the first time in 32 years at the Rio Games in 2016, leaving Brazil with four bronze medals. In PyeongChang in 2018, the Norwegian team will be hoping to match the expectations of the Gracenote Sports Winter Olympic Virtual Medal Table and finish top of the medal table for the first time since Salt Lake City 2002.

Norway is projected to win 15 gold medals, 12 silver and 10 bronze at PyeongChang in 2018. That total is heavily dependent on cross country skiing in which almost half of the medals are expected. Alpine skiing and biathlon are also expected to produce significant success for the Norwegians.

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With 14 months to go before the opening ceremony in PyeongChang, Norway's potential stars in South Korea are alpine skier Kjetil Jansrud, biathlete Johannes Bø and cross country star Therese Johaug. With almost two seasons of World Cup events between now and the 2018 Winter Games, this potential medal-winning trio will need to sustain their performances to remain at the top of our medal table.

26 countries on target for medals again

Exactly 26 countries have won Winter Olympic medals at each of the last three editions, in 2006, 2010 and 2014. The initial Gracenote Sports Virtual Medal Table again names 26 nations to win medals in PyeongChang. 

Since the Winter Games began to be held in a different year than the Summer Games, the number of different countries to win medals has increased a little. Twenty-two nations won medals at Lillehammer 1994 and this number rose to 24 at Nagano 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002. The last increase was to 26 different medal-winning countries at Torino 2006 where it has remained since.

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Twenty-five of the nations projected to win medals at Pyeongchang 2018 also won medals at the last Winter Games in Sochi. The exception is Belgium whose speed skater Bart Swings is forecast to win bronze in the mass start event. Swings is probably the best medal prospect for Belgium in Pyeongchang but the women's bobsleigh team and snowboarder Seppe Smits are also ranked in the top-8 of their events.
 

Why?
Examples
Methodology

The Virtual Medal Table is an excellent means of engaging fans on any platform. The tool is available to sports organisations, media publishers, sponsors and advertisers looking to activate their involvement in the world’s biggest winter sports event.

  • The VMT provides unique insights into identifying the countries and athletes that are most likely to be successful at the 2018 Winter Games;
  • The VMT is dynamic - monthly updates illustrate the changing balance of power in winter sports leading up to PyeongChang 2018;
  • The VMT is an excellent source of editorial content and will increase engagement with your audience;
  • The VMT can be sponsored and used to activate the marketing programmes of advertisers and brands;
  • The VMT is easily embedded onto any webpage and highlighting its insights on social media will draw extra traffic to your site.


Using performances in all Olympic sports events with world class fields, we are able to produce a prediction of the results for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang if they were held tomorrow. This forecast is in the form of the top-8 in order for each of the medal events at the Games and an overall medal table.

The VMT is a statistical model based on results in Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cups (or equivalent). It takes account of the following:

  • Results. Points are awarded for every result based on rank. Big time or points differences are also rewarded as is dominance for athletes with few results.
  • Time. A recent result is always worth more than an older one based on a continuous function.
  • Competition. More weight is given to a result achieved in a World Championship or Olympic Games than in a World Cup event.