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How many medals will Canada win at the Paris Olympics? | CBC Sports

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Exactly one hundred days from now, on July 26, athletes from around the world will gather in the French capital for the official start of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The plan still calls for a unique opening ceremony in which each country’s delegation floats down the Seine on boats decorated with their national colours. But French President Emmanuel Macron said this week that security concerns could result in a more conventional parade.

For those wondering how Canada’s athletes will fare in Paris, a good place to look is the fresh set of medal projections released today by Nielsen’s Gracenote, a data-focused division of the company that measures TV ratings. Their model considers recent results in world championships, World Cups, Grand Prixs and the like to predict the medal winners for all 329 events in Paris.

With the disclaimer that things can change over the next three months and these are not my personal predictions, here are some Canadian takeaways from Gracenote’s projections:

Canada should have one of its best Olympics ever.

The country is projected to win 22 medals — six gold, seven silver and nine bronze. That would match Canada’s second-highest total ever for a non-boycotted Summer Games, alongside Atlanta 1996 and Rio 2016. But it’s two short of the non-boycott-record 24 medals Canada won three years ago in Tokyo, which included seven golds.

Gracenote’s model has Canada finishing 11th in total medals but 12th when you sort primarily by gold, which is the preferred way to do the standings.

The projected Canadian gold medallists are swimmer Summer McIntosh, who’s in line to win two events; 800m runner Marco Arop; decathlete Pierce LePage; judoka Christa Deguchi and B-Boy Phil Wizard in the Olympic debut of breaking.

It’s going to be the summer of Summer.

The teenage swimming phenom is poised for her breakthrough Olympic performance after debuting with a fourth-place finish as a 14-year-old at the 2021 Tokyo Games. Since then, she’s won six solo and two relay medals at the world championships, including a Canadian-record four golds, and she’s the current world-record holder in the women’s 400m individual medley.

All signs point to McIntosh becoming a household name this summer, and the Gracenote model agrees. It has her winning five medals, including gold in both the 400m IM and 200m butterfly and a bronze in the 200IM (we’re assuming here that McIntosh will also be part of Canada’s projected bronze medals in the women’s 4x100m medley and 4x100m freestyle relays).

The model says McIntosh will miss the podium in the stacked 400m freestyle, where she’ll contend with current and former world champions Ariarne Titmus, Katie Ledecky and Erika Fairweather after placing fourth at last year’s worlds. But McIntosh took silver in this event at the 2022 worlds and bronze in the 200 free last year, so five medals might be on the low side of possibilities for an extraordinary young athlete who seems to be getting faster every day.

The only projected Canadian swimming medal that McIntosh will not likely have a hand in is defending Olympic champion Maggie Mac Neil’s bronze in the 100m butterfly. Mac Neil could also be involved in the two relay medals that Summer is projected to win.

Canada’s only other projected multi-medallist in Paris is sprint canoeist Katie Vincent. The model has her taking silvers in the women’s singles and doubles events.

Canada’s track and field athletes are poised for another big performance.

The model predicts Canada will win seven medals in track and field — one more than in swimming. That kind of production in the Olympics’ two most-watched sports would make for a very exciting Games.

Along with the aforementioned golds for Arop (men’s 800m) and LePage (decathlon), Gracenote predicts a silver for defending Olympic decathlon champ Damian Warner. That would give Canada the top two in an event that some believe determines the world’s best all-around athlete.

The model is buying Canada’s sudden rise in throwing events. After a surprising sweep of the hammer golds at last year’s world championships by Camryn Rogers and Ethan Katzberg, Gracenote has them taking Olympic silver and bronze, respectively. It also predicts bronze for shot putter Sarah Mitton, who took silver at the world championships before capturing the indoor world title in March.

Canada is also projected for bronze in the men’s 4x100m relay. That could move Andre De Grasse into a tie with Penny Oleksiak for the most Olympic medals by a Canadian with seven, though Oleksiak might add to her total via the swim relays. Her days as an individual contender seem done, and the model feels the same way about De Grasse. He’s not projected to win any solo medals in Paris after reaching the podium in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at each of the past two Summer Olympics, peaking with his 200m gold in Tokyo.

Canada is projected for no medals in basketball and soccer.

The women’s soccer team hasn’t missed the podium 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. Canada does not have a men’s team in Paris.

Canada has high hopes for its first Olympic basketball medal since 1936 after the men’s team took bronze at last summer’s World Cup. But the competition is tougher in the Olympics because more of the NBA’s international stars show up. The women’s basketball team is ranked fifth in the world, but that seems a bit inflated after they backed into the Olympics with a shaky showing at their last-chance qualifying tournament in February.

Read about how Canadian athletes are preparing for Paris here. See the outfits they’ll be wearing here. Get details on the CBC’s broadcast and streaming plans here.

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