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Sochi 2014 Canadian medal watch
52 Favourites Looking to Reap Russian Riches
For Sochi 2014, Canada has more medal potential than at any other Olympics. There are odds-on favourites, other athletes who are good bets to win an Olympic medal and another solid group of athletes who could find their way into contention. With Ken Read, IMPACT has handicapped the field and makes fearless predictions on who will help Canada defend its gold medal title.
Own the Podium – 11 gold
Defined as reigning world champion, World Cup champion or X-Games gold medallist.
(* Canada’s defending Olympic champions are noted with an asterisk.)
* Bobsleigh: Kallie Humphries, 28, Calgary/Heather Moyse, 35, Summerside, P.E.I.
The 2010 Olympic champion, Humphries has been the dominant pilot for the past two years, taking both 2012 and 2013 World Cup and world championship titles. For Sochi, she is reunited with Moyse, who had been competing with Team Canada in rugby, as her brakeman from 2010.
* Curling, men’s team: Brad Jacobs, 28, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Canada rules the curling world, with Jacobs carrying the torch to Russia for a program geared to defending the 2010 Olympic title won by Kevin Martin’s rink.
Figure skating, men’s singles: Patrick Chan, 22, Toronto
The three-time world champion has emerged as the gold medal standard with sparkling performances in Skate Canada and Trophee Bompard in early Grand Prix events in this Olympic winter.
Freestyle moguls: Mikael Kingsbury, 21, Deux-Montagnes, Qué.
Since 2011, Kingsbury has been virtually unbeatable, capturing the World Cup title in 2012 and 2013 by winning 11 of 13 World Cup events and the world championship in 2013, ahead of 2010 Olympic Champion Alex Bilodeau.
Freestyle slopestyle: Kaya Turski, 25, Montreal
Despite a knee injury in August, the seven-time X-Games gold medallist and 2013 world champion remains the standard to beat in this new Olympic event.
Freestyle halfpipe: Rosalind Groenewoud, 22, Calgary
The world champion in 2011, when halfpipe was under the IOC microscope for possible inclusion in Sochi, Groenewoud has since added X-Games gold in 2012 and silver in 2013.
* Hockey, women’s team
It still comes down to Canada vs. USA in the Olympic tournament and Team Canada will be out to defend its 2010 title and gain revenge for an overtime loss to Team USA at the 2013 world championships.
Snowboardcross: Dominique Maltais, 33, Petite-Rivières-St-Francois, Qué.
With four World Cup overall titles, 2012 X-Games gold and silver and the 2013 world championships to her credit, only teammate Maelle Ricker (2010 gold medallist) stands in her way for gold in Sochi.
* Maelle Ricker, 34, Squamish, B.C.
Ricker’s track record is impressive. Two-time X-Games gold, 2010 Olympic champion and 2013 world champion. Her competition? Teammate Dominique Malthais.
Snowboard slopestyle: Mark McMorris, 19, Regina, Sask.
Only one person has equalled snowboard icon Sean White’s record of double gold at the X-Games. McMorris backed the 2012 feat with his third X-Games gold in 2013.
* Short track speed skating: Charles Hamelin, 29, Ste-Julie, Qué.
Hamelin has been on a tear, winning six World Cup golds to take the overall World Cup title and emerge as the man to beat in Sochi.
Look for these Canadians On the Podium
Cross Country: Alex Harvey, 25, St.-Ferreol, Qué.
Cross Country: Devon Kershaw, 31, Sudbury, Ont.
Curling: Women’s Team Jennifer Jones, 39, Winnipeg, Man.
* Figure Skating Dance: Scott Moir, 26, Ilderton, Ont./Tessa Virtue, 24, London, Ont.
Figure Skating Pairs: Meagan Duhamel, 28, Lively, Ont./Eric Radford, 28, Balmertown, Ont.
* Freestyle moguls: Alexandre Bilodeau, 26, Rosemère, Que.
Freestyle moguls: Justine Dufour-Lapointe, 19; Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, 21, Montreal, Qué.
Freestyle halfpipe: Mike Riddle, 27, Sherwood Park
Luge: Alex Gough, 26, Calgary
Snowboard slopestyle: Sebastian Toutant, 21, L’Assomption, Qué.
Snowboard slopestyle: Spencer O’Brien, 25, Courtney, B.C.
Skicross: Brady Leman, 27, Calgary
Skicross: Kelsey Serwa, 24, Kelowna, B.C.
* Speed skating long track: Christine Nesbitt, 28, London, Ont.
* Speed skating short track: Men’s 5,000M relay
Speed skating short track: Women’s 3,000M relay
Athletes Aiming for the Podium
Alpine: Erik Guay, 32, Mont Tremblant, Qué.
Alpine: Marie-Michel Gagnon, 24, Lac-Etchemin, Qué.
Alpine: Erin Meilzynski, 23, Collingwood, Ont.
Biathlon: Jean-Pierre Legullec, 28, Val-Bélair, Qué.
Bobsleigh: Lyndon Rush, 33, Sylvan Lake, Alta./Lacelles Brown, 39, Calgary
Cross Country: Daria Gaiazova, 29, Banff, Alta.
Cross Country: Perianne Jones, 28, Almonte, Ont.
Cross Country: Len Valjas, 25, Toronto
Cross Country: Ivan Babikov, 33, Canmore, Alta.
Freestyle aerials: Travis Gerritts, 22, Milton, Ont.
Freestyle slopestyle: Dara Howell, 19, Huntsville, Ont.
Freestyle half-pipe: Justin Dorey, 25, Vernon, B.C.
* Hockey: Men’s team
Skeleton: Sarah Reid, 26, Calgary
Skicross: Chris Del Bosco, 31, Montreal
Skicross: Marielle Thompson, 21, Whistler, B.C.
Ski jumping: Alexandra Pretorius, 17, Calgary
Ski jumping: Atsuko Tanaka, 21, Calgary
Snowboard alpine: Caroline Calve, 35, Aylmer, Qué.
* Snowboard alpine: Jasey-Jay Anderson, 38, Lac Superieur, Qué.
Speed skating long track: Gilmore Junio, 21, Calgary
Speed skating long track: Jamie Gregg, 28, Edmonton
* Speed skating long track: Men’s team pursuit Denny Morrison, 27, Fort St. John, B.C., Lucas Makowsky, 26, Regina, Sask., Mathieu Giroux, Montreal
Speed skating long track: Women’s team pursuit
* Speed skating short track: Oliver Jean, 29, Lachenaie, Qué.