Bad news for Russian Olympic Committee ahead of Beijing 2022, but Norwegians should shine bright

Nielsen’s Gracenote releases updated projected medal tally for Beijing. The Russians are predicted to drop five medals from previous projection while Norway enjoys record performance

FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a ceremony to raise the Russian flag as he visits the mountain village on the eve of the opening of the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games in Krasnaya Polyana, March 6, 2014  REUTERS/Ria Novosti (RUSSIA  - Tags: POLITICS SPORT OLYMPICS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a ceremony to raise the Russian flag as he visits the mountain village on the eve of the opening of the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games in Krasnaya Polyana, March 6, 2014 REUTERS/Ria Novosti (RUSSIA - Tags: POLITICS SPORT OLYMPICS) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS/File Photo

With just over 10 weeks until the beginning of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, Nielsen’s Gracenote has updated their Virtual Medal Table (VMT) forecast, and it’s not good news for the Russians.

The biggest update in the VMT from the previous edition, released in October to commemorate 100 days until the Beijing Games, sees the Russian Olympic Committee down five medals while the Netherlands and Sweden are also down two medals each. Their loss is Canada and Japan’s gain who both pick up two more medals.

The VMT is constructed using results from previous Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup events.

Virtual medal table for Beijing 2022
Virtual medal table for Beijing 2022

Norway is forecasted to fare the best in Beijing with a record breaking total of 45 medals, 22 of them gold. That is up one from the October edition.

Norway already holds the record for most medals at a single edition of the Winter Olympics, winning 39 in 2018. The previous record was the United States capturing 37 medals in Vancouver in 2010.

Despite the Russians now being forecast to lose out on five medals, Gracenote still projects a big improvement on their 2018 performance. Should they win the 33 medals projected, it would be the biggest haul by any team representing Russia or the Soviet Union at a Winter Olympics.

Germany should do well in the sliding sports but fall slightly short of their mark of 31 medals in 2018.

In 2018 Canada finished ahead of their neighbor, the United States, winning 11 golds and 29 total medals, but 2022 could see the Americans flip the script on them. Gracenote has the U.S. claiming 24 total medals, one more than Canada. Canada has never topped Team USA on the medal table in two straight Winter Games.

Luge - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Test Event - FIL Luge World Cup - Yanqing National Sliding Center, Beijing, China - November 20, 2021. Duoyao Fan of China in action during the Men's Singles competition REUTERS/Tingshu Wang
Luge - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Test Event - FIL Luge World Cup - Yanqing National Sliding Center, Beijing, China - November 20, 2021. Duoyao Fan of China in action during the Men's Singles competition REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

Predicting results for the host nation China is difficult at best for a variety of reasons. Gracenote said China, Japan, South Korea and other east Asian nations have been largely absent from recent competitions due to the pandemic which affects their standing in the VMT.

China is currently forecast to win 8 medals, four of them gold. China won nine medals in 2018, but just a single gold one.

In all, Gracenote’s VMT has 27 countries winning at least one medal at the Beijing Games. That would be a drop of three countries from four years ago.

Gracenote will update the VMT every two weeks leading up to the Beijing Games, with a final count released just before the games begin February 4.