CBC Sports’ daily newsletter parses a statistical model’s projections for how Canadian athletes will fare in Paris.
Canada projects well in swimming and track and fieldJesse Campigotto · CBC Sports
· Posted: Feb 07, 2024 5:20 PM EST | Last Updated: 1 hour ago
Computers and humans agree: Summer McIntosh will probably be Canada’s biggest star at the Paris Olympics. (Eugene Hoshiko/The Associated Press)This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports’ daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what’s happening in sports by subscribing here.
With the Summer Games in Paris now less than six months away, it’s fair to start wondering how Canada’s athletes will do. Recently, Nielsen’s Gracenote (a division of the TV-ratings measurer) released its latest Virtual Medal Table, based on medal projections in every event from its statistical model.
With the disclaimers that computers aren’t always right, a lot can change in the next six months, and these are not my personal predictions, here’s the picture the model paints:
Canada will approach its medal record. Three years ago in Tokyo, Canada won 24 medals — its most ever at a non-boycotted Summer Olympics — and matched the national non-boycotted record with seven gold. The Gracenote model predicts Canada will fall just short of those marks in Paris with six gold and 23 total medals.
Summer McIntosh will be Canada’s biggest star. We didn’t need a computer to tell us that. But, like most humans, the model predicts big things for the 17-year-old swimming phenom. The back-to-back women’s 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley world champion will win gold in both of those events and add a silver in the 400m freestyle and bronze in the 200m IM for a total of four medals, Gracenote says. The algorithm might be selling McIntosh short, as she could be in line for some relay medals after collecting one at each of the last two world championships. Canada’s only other multiple medallist in Paris, Gracenote projects, will be sprint canoeist Katie Vincent. The model has her taking a pair of silvers, in the women’s singles and doubles events.
A Canadian will win gold in the Olympics’ newest sport. Gracenote projects Philip Kim (aka Phil Wizard) will win the B-Boys (men’s) event in breaking, which makes its Olympic debut in Paris. Two of Canada’s other gold medals, according to the model, will come in track and field, where reigning world champions Marco Arop (men’s 800m) and Pierce LePage (decathlon) will climb all the way to the top in their first trip to an Olympic podium. Gracenote also predicts that two-time world champion judoka Christa Deguchi’s first Olympic medal will be gold.
The Canadian women’s soccer team will miss the podium. That hasn’t happened since 2008, but Gracenote projects a drop-off for the reigning Olympic champions after they failed to get out of the group stage at last year’s World Cup. The model also predicts Olympic 200m champ Andre De Grasse will not win an individual medal while fellow 2021 gold medallists Maude Charron (weightlifting) and Kelsey Mitchell (track cycling) will miss the podium too. Gracenote sees Canada’s Olympic-champion women’s eight rowing team sliding to bronze.
The bulk of Canada’s medals will come in swimming and track and field. Canadians are in line for seven medals in each of the Games’ two most-watched sports, Gracenote projects. In swimming, the model taps Kylie Masse (women’s 100m backstroke), Josh Liendo (men’s 100m butterfly) and reigning Olympic champion Maggie Mac Neil (women’s 100m butterfly) for bronze along with McIntosh’s four medals. In track and field, along with Arop’s and LePage’s golds, it sees silver medals for defending Olympic decathlon champ Damian Warner, women’s hammer throw world champ Camryn Rogers and Andre De Grasse’s men’s 4x100m relay team. Plus, it predicts bronze medals for men’s hammer throw world champ Ethan Katzberg and shot putter Sarah Mitton.