Norway is poised to pull off one of the great triumphs in sports by winning the overall medal race and likely the most gold medals at the Sochi Olympics. Norway specializes in cross-country skiing and biathlon, which combines cross country and sharpshooting. They are the most medal-rich sports of the games, producing 69 medals, and among the least competitive making Norway 6/5 odds favorites to win the most gold medals. Deep teams from Canada and Germany could challenge for supremacy, and keep an eye on the Russians with their home-snow advantage.
Norway last swept the medal tables at the 1968 Winter Games and they are the all-time leader in both gold and total Winter Olympics medals.
Norway will focus its fire almost exclusively on Nordic sports that involve some form of cross country and ski jumping. “We concentrate where we can do well, and on what is closest to our hearts,” said Gerhard Heiberg.
At the 2013 World Championships in Nordic sports, Norway won 16 gold medals and 30 overall. If they repeat that performance in Sochi, they could conceivably win both medal races without even bringing ice skates, alpine skis or a curling stone to Sochi. Norway specializes in cross-country skiing and biathlon, which combines cross country and sharpshooting. They are the most medal-rich sports of the games, producing 69 medals, and among the least competitive.
In Vancouver in 2010, the U.S. slaughtered the competition in the overall medals race, winning 37 overall, seven more than second-place Germany. The Canadians collected world-best 14 golds. During the next three years, Team USA became even better. They dominated the world championships in alpine skiing last year, Kikkan Randall became the world’s fastest freestyle Nordic skier and Tim Burke won a silver medal in the biathlon world championships.
Also working in favor of the Americans, is the IOC added two more competitions in snowboarding and freestyle skiing, sports at which the U.S. excels. And it added women’s ski jumping; an event that now has an American world champion in Sarah Hendrickson.
The Germans should clean up in luge, as usual, but they have fallen off in biathlon, which historically has been a strength. Its best biathlete, Magdalena Neuner, winner of three medals in Vancouver, two of them gold, retired in 2012.
2014 Winter Olympics – Most Gold Medals Odds:
South Korea 40/1
The Bottom Line: the USA has the most athletes at these games, but the Norwegians are the better athletes. We recommend you sign up with Carbonsports to receive a 10% sign up bonus heading into the 2014 Winter Olympics.