For all the rights and wrongs of the decision to allow China to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, and despite a boycott of officials by several nations, the games are set to be officially opened tomorrow (Friday 4th February).
That’s not to say that there hasn’t already been action in the games. Some team events, such as the Ice Hockey and Curling have already started their early rounds of games, given how many matches teams will have to play through.
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2022 Winter Olympics Factfile
Hosts – Beijing, China
Official Opening – Friday 4th February
Closing Ceremony – Sunday 20th February
Nations Competing – 91
Athletes Competing – 2,871 (1,581 male, 1,290 female)
Events – 109 (across 7 sports and 15 disciplines)
New Events – 7
The 15 disciplines and the number of gold medal opportunities in each are as follows:
Alpine Skiing – 11
Biathlon – 11
Bobsleigh – 4
Cross Country Skiing – 12
Curling – 3
Figure Skating – 5
Freestyle Skiing – 13
Ice Hockey – 2
Luge – 4
Nordic Combined – 3
Short Track Speed Skating – 9
Skeleton – 2
Ski Jumping – 5
Snowboarding – 11
Speed Skating – 14
Who Are The Top US Medal Hopes?
Mikaela Shiffrin – The United States skiing ace will go in both the Slalom and Giant Slalom events in China and she is amongst the favourites for both.
Along with Sara Hector, Shiffrin is rated the 5/2 co-favorite to win the Giant Slalom, while she is the 6/5 second favorite to win the Slalom behind the Slovakian Petra Vlhova.
She is a very strong chance for at least two medals at the games, and one or even both of them could well be gold.
Alex Ferreira & Aaron Blunck – The Freestyle Skiers will go in the Halfpipe and Ferreira is rated as an 11/2 third-favorite for the gold behind Blunck who is the 3/1 second favorite; both ranked behind New Zealander Nick Porteous.
The United States has very strong representation in this event with David Wise (7/1) and Birk Irving (12/1) also likely to be in contention at the head of the field, so the prospect of one, or possibly two or even three medals in this event is there.
Alexander Hall – Another freestyle skier in with a real chance of a medal is Alexander Hall, who is a slight second favorite behind Austrias Matej Svancer in the Big Air. Hall is 3/1 compared to 5/2 for Svancer while Mac Forehand (15/1) and Colby Stevenson (25/1) will also feel that they stand a chance of a medal.
Kallie Humphries & Elena Meyers Taylor – The Monobob, is a new event that features a single woman bobsleigh and the United States team has two of the favorites for this event with Katie Humphries at 9/4 and Elena Meyers Taylor the slight 2/1 favorite for gold.
BetMGM has set the Over/Under at 22.5 medals for the United States, with both options at 17/20, while the United States team are 14/1 to finish at the top of the medal table, with Norway, ROC, Germany and Canada rated as slightly better chances to do so.
Tune in tomorrow for the opening ceremony to see how Team USA athletes perform.