It was only four years ago since the Sochi Olympics but for many athletes, it felt like a lifetime.
Who would forget kind-hearted Olympians like U.S. slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy who decided to bring some stray dogs from Sochi back to his country instead of medals? What about U.S.’s missed gold medal after American-born snowboarder Vic Wild competed under the Russian flag?
The Sochi Olympics had been ripe with heart-warming and heart-breaking storylines. Fast forward to 2018, in a place called Pyeongchang, South Korea, expect new personal records and memorable moments will be written in sports history books.
This year, Norway has become the clear favorite to win the most medals at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics with an 11/10 odds, according to online sportsbook Bodog.
Norway, which placed third in the Sochi Olympics, is a shoo-in winner in this year’s Olympics since the previous medal-table chart-toppers Russia will not be seeing action in Pyeongchang after many of its athletes have been subjected to a blanket Olympic ban.
If there are countries that will derail Norway’s ascent to glory, then that will be Germany, Canada, and the United States. Germany, which finished sixth in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, trails behind Norway with 2/1 odds, followed by the United States and Canada with 15/4 and 7/1 odds, respectively. The Dutch team is in the fifth spot with 28/1 odds.
Norway is also favored to take home the most gold medals in Pyeongchang with 2/3 odds, while Germany follows closely behind with 9/4 odds. Sports analysts expect Norway to dominate the biathlon and cross-country skiing, the two sports where they could reap the most number of gold medals.
The Americans are the third choice to win the most golds with 7/1 odds, followed by the Canadians with 12/1 odds. Again, Netherlands trails behind the four countries in terms of gold medals with 25/1 odds.
Sports fans will also be watching whether or not Team USA will top the 10.5 total number of gold medals it has won in the previous winter Olympics. Team USA almost reached that number of gold medals when it hosted the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake with 10.
They would also like to see whether Canada will break its over/under gold medals, which is at 8.5. Based on its previous performance in Vancouver Winter Olympics and Sochi Winter Olympics, Canada is likely to go beyond 8.5 over/under.
It will also be interesting to watch this year’s ice hockey tournament in Pyeongchang especially after the NHL decided that it will not allow active players of the league to participate in the Olympics.
The Russian Ice Hockey team is favored to win the gold medal with 1/1 odds and is followed closely by Canada with 9/2 odds. Sweden, Finland, and Czech Republic also have a great shot to seize the gold medal from either Russia or Canada, with 9/2, 8/1, 9/1 odds, respectively.