The Olympic Winter Games 2022 are nearly upon us, as Beijing hosts the games for the very first time. It promises to be an exciting two weeks of action with no shortage of medal hopes for some of the leading nations competing in Asia. Many of the leading bookmakers available online are offering sportsbook bonuses for the event, which means considering the nations that could have excellent chances to win gold is essential.
The United States is one of the most successful nations when it comes to the Winter Olympics, as they have won a huge 307 medals in total. The nation has competed at 23 Winter Olympics, and has won 105 gold medals. Only Norway has won more medals than the United States, which sees Team USA sit second in the overall medal table. However, the US has only topped the medal table on one occasion in its history at the Winter Olympics.
There are a number of outstanding chances to win gold in Beijing for Team USA, with their leading chance being speed skater Erin Jackson. She is highly expected to win gold in Asia as she is currently the top-ranked women’s 500-metre speed skater. Furthermore, she is the reigning world champion, having won gold at the Speed Skating World Cup just a couple of months ago.
Shaun White will be one of the stories of the Olympics from an American perspective, as the decorated snowboarder will call time on his career after the Beijing games. White has won three gold medals in halfpipe at the Winter Olympics, which makes him the most decorated Olympic snowboarder in history. How he would love to end on another high of winning gold for the fourth time.
Canada is also one of the top nations when it comes to medals and the Winter Olympics. They have won 74 golds in the 23 Winter Games that they have competed in. They are fifth in the overall medal standings, behind Norway, Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Like the United States, they have also topped the medal standings at one previous games, with that coming at their home Olympics in Vancouver back in 2010. In that edition, Canada won 14 gold medals, seven silvers and five bronze medals.
It would be hard to look past their best medal hope at the 2022 Games as being the ice hockey. Canada have dominated in the sport at the Winter Olympics throughout the event’s history, and have won gold in three of the previous five tournaments. The big game-changer is the recent withdrawal by the NHL of their hockey players from the Games, not just for Canada, but for all the competing nations. As this puts all nations on the same playing level as the 2018 competition where the NHL also did not compete, so Canada will be trying to improve on that performance, where they finished with the bronze. They are one of the favorites to win back the gold this year, and are tops of the betting with the leading American sportsbook online sites. Canada looks to have a solid chance of winning gold in the ice hockey this year.
The main other Canadian medal hope could come in the form of Tristan Walker. Walker has enjoyed an excellent luge career, having made his Olympic debut aged just 18 alongside Justin Snith in 2010. He has achieved huge success at the World Championships, winning silver in 2013 in the mixed team, and bronze in both the 2015 and 2016 events. He will be looking to go one better in Beijing after winning silver in the mixed team in Pyeongchang four years ago. other top Canadian hopes for medals are in speed skating, short track speed skating, figure skating and curling.
Team GB is placing more importance on the Winter Olympics with every passing year, and that has seen the nation move up to 19th in the overall medal standings. Great Britain have won eleven golds in the 23 games that they have competed in, and have added four silvers and 16 bronzes. Once again this year, they have a leading chance of adding another gold, with their best chance of Beijing gold is likely to come in the curling, as they are already listed as favorites to win the top prize in the men’s event. Team GB won bronze in 2014, with their only previous gold coming back in 1924. They endured heartbreak in the 2018 Winter Olympics, as Team GB were knocked out in the tiebreaker round by Switzerland. They look well positioned to go better again this year.
Australia have suprisingly become more productive at the Winter Olympics in recent years, and have a number of outstanding chances at the games this year. For a country with deserts and beaches , Australia won their first Winter Games medal in 1994, and since then have made great headway with winter sports, winning five golds, five silvers and four bronze medals. This year they have a number of strong contenders that could be aiming for gold, especially in the freestyle skiing and speed skating. Their best chance of medal comes in the form of Matt Graham. The 27-year-old won silver at the 2018 Olympic Games in the Moguls, and followed that with another silver at the World Championships. He comes into the Olympics this year in fine form, having won silver at the 2021 World Championships in the Dual Moguls.
Other Top Contenders at the Games
Aside from the four nations mentioned above, there will be strong challenges from nations such as Sweden and the Russian Olympic Committee. Both will be looking to build on strong showings at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and both of the nations will also be targeting success in the ice hockey. However, when it comes to the nation that looks best placed to finish the games at the top of the medal table, it looks challenging to see past Norway. The nation has won 132 gold medals during its history at the event, and has won more than 60 medals in total compared to the second-most winning country at the Winter Olympics. Their main stars looking to lead the charge include Alpine skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, and cross country superstar Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo.