Vancouver 2010: Maclean's predicts the winners - Macleans.ca
 

Vancouver 2010: Maclean’s predicts the winners

A look at 50 Canadian Olympians with podium potential


 

Experts are predicting a huge medal haul for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Games, and the pressure is on our athletes to make the host country look good. Although the Canadian team won’t be finalized until a few weeks before the competition begins, here is a glimpse at 50 athletes we think have podium potential.

Check after the break for the full listing.

Gold, please

Hayley Wickenheiser
Women’s hockey
You could usually bet on an American vs. Canada final, but Sweden and Finland can’t be discounted. Canada has won gold in each of the past two Olympics Games and recently whooped the U.S. 5-1 in the finals of the Four Nations Cup.
Sidney Crosby
Men’s hockey
The Russians are dangerous and the Swedes have the depth and goaltending to repeat. Yet it’s Sid the Kid’s first Olympic Games and the home crowd will be rabid—after all, they’re paying upwards of nearly $800 for a preliminary round game and $4,000 for the medal round.
Curling
Curling
Ever since curling became an Olympic fixture in 1998, Canada has won a curling medal in every event. Teams will be finalized after the 2009 Canadian Curling Trials that will be held in Edmonton in early December.
Charles Hamelin
Charles Hamelin
Sport: Short Track Speed Skating Hamelin is a threat in the 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m individual distances. He has captured 12 medals at the World Championships since 2005 and won silver at the 2006 Turin Games in the 5,000m relay. In the first four World Cup events of the 2009-10 season, Hamelin has already won three gold medals.
Kristina Groves
Kristina Groves
Sport: Long Track Speed Skating The Ottawa native has the potential to win five medals in these Games. Earned two silver medals in Turin (1,500m and team pursuit) and is Canada’s most decorated skater at the World Championships.
Christine Nesbitt
Christine Nesbitt
Sport: Long Track Speed Skating Nesbitt has made it abundantly clear, in the first two long track World Cup events of this season, that she is on top of her game—winning a silver and gold in the 1,500m and back-to-back gold medals in the 1,000m. At Turin, she won silver in the team pursuit.
Jennifer Heil
Jenn Heil
Sport: Freestyle Skiing (moguls) Heil won gold in Turin in the moguls and has captured 42 World Cup medals to go along with four podium finishes at the World Championships. She has her own line of sterling silver jewellery designed by Birks, but gold is what she’ll be looking for on the slopes of Cypress Mountain in 2010.
Patrick Chan
Patrick Chan
Sport: Figure Skating (singles) The affable 18-year-old won the Four Continents Championships and took silver at the World Championships this past year. Currently ranked first in the world, he could capture gold in an event that has no clear-cut favourite.
Steve Omischl
Steve Omischl
Sport: Freestyle Skiing (aerials) Omischl is a force to be reckoned with in aerials. He has won an amazing 40 World Cup medals over his career, including 20 first place finishes, but has never finished in the top 10 in two Olympic Games. His motto: “Work hard and win. Do nothing and lose.”
Alexandre Bilodeau
Alexandre Bilodeau
Sport: Freestyle Skiing (moguls) Bilodeau was only 18 years old when he competed in Turin, where he finished 11th. He won an impressive five World Cup events last year to go along with a gold medal in the dual moguls at the World Championships, and finished first in the overall World Cup standings.


The silver and bronze crew

Cindy Klassen
Cindy Klassen
Sport: Long Track Speed Skating Klassen won an astounding five medals at the Turin Games (1 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze) and has another Olympic bronze from Salt Lake City. But she was out of competition during the 2008-09 season while recovering from surgery on both knees.
Denny Morrison
Denny Morrison
Sport: Long Track Speed Skating Morrison is dangerous in the 1,000m, 1,500m and team pursuit. He has been a force on the World Cup circuit where he has 38 podium finishes since the 2005-06 season to go along with seven medals at the World Championships.
Jeremy Wotherspoon
Jeremy Wotherspoon
Sport: Long Track Speed Skating Wotherspoon will be competing in his fourth Olympic Games. He spent all of last season recovering from a badly broken arm. His resume is impressive: 10 medals at the World Single Distance Championships, nine podium finishes at the World Sprint Championships, and a 12-time overall World Cup champion. He has struggled in the Olympics, earning only one silver in the 500m in Nagano. It’s now or never for the 33-year-old from Red Deer.
Manuel Osborne-Paradis
Manuel Osborne-Paradis
Sport: Alpine Skiing (downhill, Super-G) Osborne-Paradis earned three World Cup medals during the 2008-09 season, including back-to-back podium finishes in March, and finished 5th in the overall World Cup downhill standings. Plus, he grew up skiing the slopes of Whistler.
Pierre Leuders
Pierre Lueders
Sport: Bobsleigh The elder statesman will be competing in his fifth Olympic Games in both the two- and four-man events. Lueders won gold in Nagano and silver in Turin in the two-man event, and has collected eight medals at the World Championships over his illustrious career.
Jeff Pain
Jeff Pain
Sport: Skeleton Pain has won two gold medals and a silver in his career at the World Championships to go along with an Olympic silver at the Games in Turin. He has a sweet looking custom-painted beaver on his helmet.
Women's Bobsleigh
Women’s Bobsleigh
The 2008-09 season didn’t go as planned after Canada-1 pilot Helen Upperton separated two ribs while jumping into her sled during a race in Germany. Two years ago Canada-1 was ranked 3rd in the world and won three World Cup events. Canada-2, piloted by Kaillie Humphries, captured two silver medals last year on the World Cup tour.
Jasey-Jay Anderson
Jasey-Jay Anderson
Sport: Snowboarding Anderson is a four-time overall World Cup champion who has 24 World Cup victories in both snowboard cross and parallel giant slalom. The reigning World Champion in parallel giant slalom is looking for his first Olympic medal in his fourth Games. His best result was a 5th in snowboard cross at the 2006 Games.
John Kucera
John Kucera
Sport: Alpine Skiing (downhill, Super-G) Kucera won gold in the downhill at the World Championships last February in Val d’Isere and has earned three World Cup podium finishes over his career. He is considered more of a threat in the Super-G than in the downhill.
François-Louis Tremblay
François-Louis Tremblay
Sport: Short Track Speed Skating Tremblay brings loads of experience into these Games. He has three Olympic medals to his credit (gold in the 5,000m relay in Salt Lake City, silver in both the 500m and 5,000m relay in Turin) and has reached the podium 10 times at the World Short Track Championships.
Ashleigh McIvor
Ashleigh McIvor
Sport: Freestyle Skiing (ski cross) Ski cross will be making its debut in these Games. McIvor is the reigning World Champion and has four World Cup medals on her resume. Other ski cross hopefuls include Chris Del Bosco, Stan Hayer and Davey Barr, along with Kelsey Serwa, Aleisha Cline and Julia Murray.
Olivier Jean
Olivier Jean
Sport: Short Track Speed Skating Jean missed all of the 2007-08 season after cutting a tendon in his left ankle with his own skate. He came back and won bronze last year in the 500m at the World Short Track Championships in Vienna to go along with seven medals on the World Cup tour.
Erik Guay
Erik Guay
Sport: Alpine Skiing (downhill, Super-G) Guay missed out winning a bronze medal in Super-G at the Turin Games by 0.1 of a second. He was the first Canadian male to win a World Cup downhill event in 13 years when he won the 2007 downhill at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany.
Mike Janyk
Mike Janyk
Sport: Alpine Skiing (slalom) Although he only has one podium finish at the World Championships over his career (a bronze last February in Val d’Isere), Janyk has 15 top 10 finishes on the World Cup tour.
Kelly VanderBeek
Kelly VanderBeek
Sport: Alpine Skiing (downhill, Super-G) VanderBeek has accumulated 19 top 10 World Cup finishes since the 2006-07 season. She just missed out on winning a bronze in the Super-G at the Turin Games when she finished 4th.
Jon Montgomery
Jon Montgomery
Sport: Skeleton Montgomery earned only one medal last year on the World Cup tour after finishing 2nd in the overall standings two years ago, but he has seven overall World Cup podium finishes in the last three seasons to go along with two silver medals from the 2007 World Championships.
Joannie Rochette
Joannie Rochette
Sport: Figure Skating (singles) The five-time Canadian national champion won a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships in Los Angeles last March. Since finishing 5th in Turin she has raised her technical difficulty and has turned to renown choreographer Lori Nichol.
Britt Janyk
Britt Janyk
Sport: Alpine Skiing (downhill) Janyk finished 3rd in the World Cup standings during the 2007-08 season and was the first Canadian woman to win a World Cup downhill event in 14 years when she won the 2007 downhill in Aspen. She will be racing on her home course. (Literally, the finish line is a stone’s throw away from the family home.)
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
Sport: Figure Skating (ice dance) They won bronze at the World Championships last March and took silver at the Four Continents Championships. The pair, who started this year strong by dominating the first Grand Prix event last month in Paris., have skated together since 1997.
Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison
Jessica Dubé and Bryce Davison
Sport: Figure Skating (pairs) The team won bronze at the 2008 World Championships and took home silver at last February’s Four Continents Championships in Vancouver—and are hungry for a podium finish after placing 10th in Turin.
Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau
Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau
Sport: Freestyle Skiing (moguls) Rousseau has 21 World Cup podium finishes over his career and placed 4th overall in the standings last year. He is currently ranked 4th in the world.
Vincent Marquis
Vincent Marquis
Sport: Freestyle Skiing (moguls) Marquis has seven podium finishes on the World Cup tour, including two gold medals—and was ranked 3rd on the World Cup tour at the end of last season.
Matthew Morison
Matthew Morison
Sport: Snowboarding (parallel giant slalom) Morison won a bronze medal at the World Championships last January in Korea. At just 22, he has already earned nine World Cup podium, including three 1st place finishes.
Dominique Maltais
Dominique Maltais
Sport: Snowboard Cross She brought home a bronze from Turin and has secured seven World Cup podium finishes in the past two seasons after missing the entire 2006-07 season because of a knee injury.
Maëlle Ricker
Maëlle Ricker
Sport: Snowboard Cross Ricker has collected 27 medals on the World Cup tour over her career and placed 4th in Turin. She finished 2nd in the overall World Cup standings in 2008-09 and has already won an event on this year’s World Cup tour.
Clara Hughes
Clara Hughes
Sport: Long Track Speed Skating Hughes had a disappointing 2008-09 season but the five-time Olympic medalist, who is one of only four people ever to win medals in both the Winter and Summer games, likes to save her best performances for the biggest of stages.
Mellisa Hollingsworth
Mellisa Hollingsworth
Sport: Skeleton Hollingsworth won bronze in Turin and earned four World Cup medals during the 2008-09 season. She is hoping to recapture some of the magic that helped her dominate the World Cup circuit during the 2005-06 season. In the season’s first World Cup event in Utah last week, she took home a bronze.
Jessica Gregg
Jessica Gregg
Sport: Short Track Speed Skater The 21-year-old Edmonton native won two bronze medals at the World Short Track Championships (500m and 3,000m relay) last March in Vienna. Gregg comes from good pedigree. Her mother Kathy was a two-time Olympian skater and father Randy played on the Oilers dynasty teams.
Kalyna Roberge
Kalyna Roberge
Sport: Short Track Speed Skating Roberge won silver in the 3,000m relay in Turin and has accumulated 22 World Cup medals since the start of the 2006-07 season. She captured two silver medals in the 500m during back-to-back World Cup events earlier this month.
Emily Brydon
Emily Brydon
Sport: Alpine Skiing (downhill, Super-G) Brydon has won seven World Cup medals over her career in three separate disciplines, including gold in the Super-G in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 2008.
Kristi Richards
Kristi Richards
Sport: Freestyle Skiing (moguls) Richards finished 7th in Turin and was the 2007 World Champion. She also placed 4th in the overall World Cup standings in both 2006-07 and 2007-08 and has earned a total of seven medals on the World Cup tour.
Michelle Kelly
Michelle Kelly
Sport: Skeleton Kelly is back on the national team after winning her appeal following a sled inspection controversy that took place last month. She has earned three podium finishes over her career at the World Championships. During the 2007-08 World Cup season she captured three gold and three silver medals.
Sara Renner
Sara Renner
Sport: X-country Skiing Renner won silver in Turin in the team sprint with Beckie Scott. She will have a shot at another podium appearance when she and Chandra Crawford compete in the team sprint.
Chandra Crawford
Chandra Crawford
Sport: X-country Skiing Crawford was a surprise gold medal winner in Turin in the 1.1-km sprint event. She has three World Cup podium finishes in her career. When she won gold in Turin, Brian Williams remarked: “If you’re ever standing on top of the podium, this is how you sing our national anthem.” Canada would like to hear her sing again. Her best shot will be in the team sprint with Sara Renner.

Wild Cards

Jan Hudec
Jan Hudec
Sport: Alpine Skiing (downhill, Super-G) Hudec is overcoming knee surgery after tearing the ACL in his left knee at the World Championships last year. He won the World Cup downhill event two years ago at Lake Louise and earned a silver medal at the 2007 World Championships.
Brittany Schussler
Brittany Schussler
Sport: Long Track Speed Skating Schussler races in all disciplines and has something to prove after not having the chance to race in Turin while being used as a spare. She won a bronze in the 1,500m at the first World Cup event earlier this month in Berlin.
Shannon Rempel
Shannon Rempel
Sport: Long Track Speed Skating Rempel won a silver medal in Turin in the team pursuit and could surprise in the 500m or 1,000m. She holds the World Junior record in the 500m.
Alex Harvey and George Grey
Alex Harvey & George Grey
Sport: X-country Skiing Harvey is only 21 years old but in his first full season on the World Cup tour he won two bronze medals. His father, Pierre, participated in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. Last January, Harvey and Grey won bronze in the team sprint on the Olympic course in Whistler.
François Hamelin
François Hamelin
Sport: Short Track Speed Skating The younger Hamelin won a silver at the World Short Track Championships in 2008 and has earned 10 World Cup podium finishes. Although his specialty is in the 5,000m relay, watch out for him in the 1,000m.
Veronika Bauer
Veronika Bauer
Sport: Freestyle skiing (aerial) The two-time Olympian is recovering from post-concussion syndrome. Bauer has 18 podium finishes on the World Cup circuit, including four victories.

With assistance from Jonathon Gatehouse and Andrea Ball


 

Vancouver 2010: Maclean’s predicts the winners

  1. The Frenchies are going to finish 1, 2, 3 in the moguls! GO CANADA

    • Russians have the offense, but CANADA HAS THE DEFFENSE!! Canadians Kick Ass!!

  2. I got a really bad feeling that the Russians are going to destory everybody in hockey. Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Malkin…forget about it.

    • likje omg i like soooooo agree and like titally

  3. Pretty exciting that after all the hard work on the part of the Canadian Olympic Commitee and the athletes, we actually have a pretty good chance to win a bunch of medals. Now, the question is, do we finish first even if they're all bronze and silver?

  4. I heard Gatan Boucher was making a comeback

  5. I just got really excited for the Olympics. That's a lot of talent we have there and on home turf, AWESOME!
    Gulay.

  6. Go Canada! Thanks for the in-depth look at some of our Olympic stars. It will be interesting to see how many of your Gold, Silver and Bronze choices end up making the podium…

  7. Nice list.
    Will anyone care about any of them if mens hockey doesnt win gold??? I dont know. I dont think so.

  8. Indeed, an exhaustive list of our Olympic stars. Good overview. I agree with Darbs, Russians will be hard to beat but Canada also has some good soldiers…

  9. Good luck athletes! Nice list, mr. Ainsworth-Vincze!

  10. You could add short track speed skater Marianne St-Gelais to the list. She won a bronze last weekend in the 500m.

  11. The Russians are looking pretty good when it comes to men's hockey, so Doodoo, you best give a hoot about the other events! At the very least, the Swedish women should keep you interested.

  12. That was a great article. I really enjoyed the update on our atheletes that Mr. Ainsworth-Vince showed us. Great work!

    Go for the gold! :)

  13. All this optimism is great and all but in typical Canadian fashion they will probably get more fourth place finishes then medals.

  14. I had no idea we had so many hopefuls! You've really peaked my interest. Is Cassie Campbell still spearheading our women's hockey team?

  15. How come we don't hear about them more often? More interesting than the leaf's stories so far… I haven't seen Cassie on HNIC this year…

  16. I don't suppose Maclean's could just issue the medals and we can call the whole nonsense off?

    No? Well, thanks anyways…

  17. I guess the Liberal Long Gun Registry is to blame for the dearth of Canadian Biathlon medal contenders.

  18. This could be the best mens Olympic hockey tournament ever. Canada's depth and work ethic versus Russia's razzle dazzle. Sweden will be dangerous and don't count out the Americans. I can't wait. It's going to be great! GO! CANADA GO!

  19. Boycott the corporate Olympics! The games are just a sideshow.

  20. this is what drives me nuts about Canadian media. Just because they've placed well 2 or 3 times does not they're medal contenders. Does anyone really think that Joannie Rochette and Osborne-Paradis are REALLY going to win anything.

    • Umm, not sure if you have a TV or listen to the news but Joannie just won Skate Canada.

  21. Great article! The author certainly did his homework on this as I have yet to find anyone that's put together such a comprehensive list of our medal hopefuls and it's great to see we have so much potential going into the Games. I didn't realize we had so many medal hopefuls, so thanks for the article. Obviously Canadian athletes have a lot of expectations to live up to on our own soil. Go Canada!

  22. What a luxury to have our Canadian roster so eloquently laid out on one page. There's so much talent here, how can you not feel supremely confident we will leave our mark at the 2010 games!

  23. I am glad that somebody is out there scouring all the athletes' specs and compiling it all into such a clear and comprehensive list. I am happy to say that I now feel informed and like less of an ignoramus with regards to the upcoming games. Nice work and thanks!

  24. This is a great look into where we stand for Vancouver. The work you have done here really shows your passion for Canadian sport. What would be nice is a follow up article after the games so that you can take some credit for these bold predictions hopefully.

  25. I love watching the olympics, and this article about the athletes is extremely helpful. Thanks.

  26. Great synopsis of our hopefuls. I'd been looking for some sort of an overview of what our chances were in the different events, so thanks, Macleans. Too bad that the winning nation will be the one with the most gold medals, not the one with the most total medals, because it looks like we might end up with a pile of silvers and bronzes.

  27. Sadly, you can cross John Kurcera off that list now

  28. LOL! WIENERS!!!!!!!!!!

  29. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL I DISSAGREE WITH THE OLYMPICS OH SNAP! WIENERS!!!

  30. ahahahahaha

  31. my name is ty mcnamara!! SMS!!

  32. Sorry guys my friend was being disrespectfull sry for all who was offended

  33. Giant ass penis and have a happy new year

  34. Looks like you forgot Silver Medalist Mike Robertson.

  35. hey niggs

  36. bob

  37. Alexandre Bilodeau WOOT thts my pick for my socials class project and he won gold YAY!!!!!!!!!

  38. Looking at this list I still have hope after a somewhat less than spectacular start. COME ON CANADA!

  39. uhm were losing .
    common canada !

  40. Boy, talk about getting it wrong. So many misses and most of the winners ignored. Time for the writer of this story to seek a new career.

    • I think you were watching the wrong Olympics, Joe. All of our medals came from this list, except two.

  41. congrats to Canadians

  42. the olympic games was so cool

  43. this seems like an excellent place to talk about the olympics ive bookmarked and will be back next time around