Any Canadians expecting the gold medal dominance of their Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics team to translate into improvement for the London 2012 Summer Olympics team will be disappointed if predictions released March 12 come true.
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan-native Daniel Johnson, an economics professor at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo., predicts Canada will win 17 medals, including four gold, in London. That was also his prediction for Beijing 2008. The actual tally four year ago was 18 medals and three gold. Not too shabby, eh?
Well, maybe if you’re the Canadian Olympic team. That would put Canada in 15th on the gold medal scale and 12th overall. On overall medals, Johnson predicts Canada will be surpassed by Netherlands and Hungary (19), Italy and Japan (31), Australia (38). On the gold medal scale, he believes India, Poland and Netherlands will win 5. Romania (6), Hungary (7) and Australia (8), he predicts, will also beat Canada.
Johnson boasts a remarkable 93 percent success rate in his Olympic predictions over six consecutive Games, and his model does not include athletics. He instead relies on a nation’s per capita income, population and its proximity to the host city.
Johnson predicts the U.S. will win the most overall (99) and most gold (34). China (67 including 33 gold), Russia (82 including 25 gold), and host Great Britain (45 including 20 gold) are the top four. According to Johnson’s March 12-issued news release:
“During the last Summer Games, in Beijing in 2008, Johnson’s model forecast that the U.S. would top the medal count, and it did, winning 110 medals (seven more than predicted). He also correctly predicted that China would top the gold medal count, and it did, winning 51 gold medals (seven more than predicted). During the last Winter Games, in Vancouver in 2010, the model predicted 27 medals for Canada (they won 26 instead), but the American and German teams both vastly outperformed expectations and topped the podium more often.”
What Johnson doesn’t mention is that his prediction for Canada’s gold medals in Vancouver 2010 was a paltry 5. Canada won a record 14.
Read more here and see the ranked prediction table below.
News and views on Vancouver 2010 (and beyond) from Bob Mackin.