Less than six months after the completion of the Summer Olympics, it’s time for nations to compete again. The Winter Olympics are due to begin on February 4th and end on the 20th in Beijing, China. Although some sports will start a day or two earlier.

At the last Winter Olympics in 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea, Norway ruled supreme. The nation won 39 medals, 14 of which were gold (tied with Germany).

Most people have Norway as their favourites for the 2022 games, but Germany, USA and Russia are also slated to do well and possibly challenge the Norwegians for the top spot.

Here is a closer look at the favourited nations and how we expect them to do at the games.

The question on everyone’s lips is, “Is it possible for Norway to win more medals than the 39 they claimed at the last winter games?”

The answer seems to be yes, as Nielsen’s Gracenote recently released their virtual medal table with predictions. And it has Norway on track to break its own record and win a total of 45 medals.

Of those 45 medals, 22 are predicted to be gold which is double those of any nation. So if predictions are accurate, it’s sure to be a dominant games for the country.

A Norwegian athlete to keep your eye on is cross country skier Therese Johaug. Johaug has previously won a gold medal, but that was in 2010 as part of a relay team.

She’s set to compete in three individual events in Beijing and is part of a Norwegian relay team that should contend for the gold. So it’s safe to say Johaug could play a big role in helping Norway rack up medals at the 2022 games.

* Picture-Copyright: https://www.thestar.com/sports/amateur/2017/08/22/ski-star-therese-johaug-banned-from-2018-olympics-in-doping-case.html

Because of punishments due to the doping scandal, Russian athletes will compete under the name Russian Olympic Committee.

Whilst the Russians finished sixth in the medal column at the last games. Gracenote is predicting them to do a lot better and finish in second place behind Norway with a total of 32 medals. If this happens, it will be the most medals won by a team representing Russia or the former Soviet Union at a winter games.

Two athletes to watch from the nation are cross-country skier Alexander Bolshunov and speed skater Natalya Voronina.

Bolshunov has never won Olympic gold. But he did win three silvers and a bronze in 2018 and is tipped to win gold for the first time in Beijing.

Voronina, a 27-year-old speed skater, is another athlete who has a good chance to win an Olympic gold medal for the first time in Beijing. She won the bronze in 2018 in the 5,000-meter race, an event in which she now holds the world record.

* Picture-Copyright: https://tass.com/sport/1261035

Another country that is heavily tipped to do well. After a strong showing in 2018, Gracenote has them projected to take home 25 medals in total, putting them above the US and Canada, who are predicted to win 22 medals each.

A sport that Germans are known for dominating is men’s bobsleigh. Francesco Friedrich won two gold medals in 2018 as part of both two-man and four-man teams. Not to mention his contribution to Germanies successes at the world championships.

Julia Taubitz is another one to watch. She took home two gold medals at the FIL World Luge Championships in December and is predicted to win her first gold in Beijing.

* Picture-Copyright:https://www.eurosport.com/bobsleigh/francesco-friedrich_prs261877/person.shtml

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