February 7, 2014 3:31 pm

How many medals will Canada win in Sochi?

Canada's Drew Doughty (8) waves a Canadian flag after the men's ice hockey medal ceremony at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O'Meara

CALGARY – As the winter games get underway in Sochi, some are speculating on how many medals Canada will win.

Global Calgary’s Brendan Parker gives us his predictions:

Ambitious and attainable

Team Canada has not backed off of their goal at these Olympics. Win the most medals.

Just like 2010, the mission is to be the number one nation in the medal standings. Canada finished just shy of that goal in Vancouver, winning 26 medals, good for 3rd. But, their 14 gold medals was the most of any country.

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Anne Merklinger, CEO of the Own the Podium program, raised the expectations more modestly. “Improve our medal ranking … but most importantly, we want to win more medals than we did in Vancouver.”

While the goals are ambitious, without question they are attainable.

After spending the last few months watching and talking to many of our top Olympic athletes, I’ve compiled a list of where to expect Canadian medals during the games.

Alpine Skiing:

The Canadian Cowboys are motivated to end a 20 medal drought at the Olympics, and they’re in a great position to do so. Erik Guay is the leader, after setting the record for the most World Cup podiums by a Canadian. Calgary native Jan Hudec and Manny Osborne-Paradis are also capable of winning a medal.

On the women’s side, Marie-Michele Gagnon has had some very strong results this world cup season, and will be a threat in the women’s super-combined.

BP’s Medal Projection: 2

Bobsleigh:

Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse are together again, trying to defend their gold from 2010. It would be a big upset if they weren’t on the podium, they are gold medal favourites. Humphries had an incredible 15 consecutive podium streak end earlier this season. On the men’s side Lyndon Rush, Chris Spring and Justin Kripps will all pilot a sled, and all have been on the podium this season in either 2man and 4man.

BP’s Medal Projection: 2

Cross-Country Skiing:

The Canadian Cross Country ski team has never been a better place. Led by Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw, the men are more than capable of winning the first Olympic men’s medal. A 4th place finish in 2010 still fuels both guys, and they’re peaking at the right time. Canmore’s Ivan Babikov is also a threat in distance races.

BP’s Medal Projection: 2

Curling:

Since curling made it’s debut in 1998, Canada has never missed the podium, winning 3 gold medals. With two of Canada’s top rinks in Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs, this will not be the year. It would be a disappointment if both teams weren’t playing for gold.

BP’s Medal Projection: 2

Figure skating:

Skate Canada set a goal of 3 medals in Sochi, they’re 17 member team could win more. Patrick Chan and Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue are Gold medal contenders. They are also near locks to medal in the new Team event. If those go as planned, anything else would be a bonus. 18 year old Kaetlyn Osmond skates out of Edmonton is the top women.

BP’s Medal Projection: 3

Freestyle Skiing:

Freestyle skiing will be the source of Canada’s greatest medal haul. Men’s and Women’s moguls could win 4 of the 6 medals available. While Canadians are very strong in new Olympic disciplines ski slopestyle and ski halfpipe. Alberta boy Mike Riddle has gold medal potential in men’s halfpup. While the Canadian Ski Cross team has produced 11 World Cup medals this season. Calgary’s Brady Leman can be the World’s best on any given day.

Hockey:

We’re Canadian…Gold baby! At least, that’s what we all expect.

BP’s Medal Projection: 8

Luge:

Maybe Canada’s most improved event. Since 2010 Calgary slider Alex Gough has busted to the top of women’s luge, winning 17 World Cup medals since. The Relay Team also finished 2nd overall in the World Cup Rankings, and should contend when the event makes its Olympic debut.

BP’s Medal Projection: 2

Short-Track Speedskating:

A sport that has produced the 2nd most medals for Canada at the Winter Olympics, and will be a source for a few more in the next two weeks. Led by Vancouver gold medallists Charles Hamlin and Marianne St.-Gelais, the team is likely to provide a few more memorable moments.

BP’s Medal Projection: 4

Speedskating:

The torch has been passed in long track, but there are still skaters capable of winning medals. Christine Nesbitt, while she has struggled this year, is one of Canada’s top hopefuls. The race to watch for is the 1000m. Denny Morrison enters his 3rd Olympics as loose, and confident as ever, and may surprise some.

Keep an eye on Jamie Gregg and Calgary’s Gilmore Junio in the men’s 500m. Junio won his first ever World Cup earlier this year, and can flat out fly. He’s my bet to win a surprise medal.

BP’s Medal Projection: 3

Snowboarding:

The stars of the snow. Outside of NHL’ers snowboarders have the highest status of any Olympic athlete. Shaun White and Mark McMorris are global superstars. McMorris of Regina, SK despite stumbling out of the gate, is still one of the World’s best in Slopestyle, he’ll have his chance for Gold. Maxence Parrot, showed in qualifying that his double X Games Gold was no fluke. Spencer O’Brien qualified in 3rd on Thursday and is the reigning world champion on the women’s side.

Maelle Ricker declared herself good to go after wrist surgery less than two weeks ago, vowing to defend her 2010 Gold medal.

BP’s Medal Projection: 4

Overall

Team Canada should easily achieve one goal, surpassing the 26 medals won 4 years ago on home soil. They will become the only nation to improve their medal count in 9 consecutive Winter Olympic Games. A truly remarkable accomplishment.

The more difficult task will be to win the medal count. While not impossible, I don’t believe it will happen in Sochi.

BP’ Final Medal Projection: 32 medals – 13 Gold

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