This was supposed to be Canada’s games. Ever since Vancouver was selected to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada has been fixated on taking home the most medals. The Government poured more than $118 million dollars into a special program called Own The Podium that recruited and trained potential athletes and is even offering $20,000 cash-prizes to athletes who medal.
Pretty much everyone believed the hype. Going into the games, Canada was widely favored by bookies and sports experts to win both the most gold medals and most medals overall.
But thus far, Canada’s massive effort seems to have come to naught.
Nearly halfway thought the games, Canada has steadily slipped in the medals standings. Going into day 8, Canada is in 5th place after falling behind Finland and Korea.
At the front of the pack is Team USA, which has been unexpectedly dominating the games thus far. The USA has traditionally been weak in the winter games, which have been dominated by Germany for the last two decades. But that seems to have changed. What was supposed to be Canada’s year is turning into America’s. Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight now projects the USA to win the medal count (just two days ago we were neck-and-neck with Canada and Germany), though Canada is still favored to take home the most gold medals. If Team USA can hold on to its lead, it will be the first Winter Olympics America has won since 1932 (we only managed to tie Germany in the 2002 Salt Lake City games).
USA! USA! USA!