Here’s how many medals Canada might win at the Olympics

Competition at the Paris Olympic Games begins exactly three weeks from today. It’s kind of a soft launch, as we say in the media business, with a handful of preliminary-stage men’s soccer and men’s rugby sevens games kicking things off on Wednesday, July 24, followed by women’s soccer (including Canada vs. New Zealand), archery, handball and more men’s rugby sevens the next day. The opening ceremony is on Friday, July 26. Then it’s off to the races, literally, as swimming highlights the first full day of competition on Saturday.

Anyway, this seems like a good time to check in on the latest Olympic medal projections from our friends at Nielsen’s Gracenote (a division of the company that measures TV ratings). Their model crunches the results from various world championships, World Cups, Grand Prixs and other important competitions to predict the medal winners for all 329 events in Paris.

Gracenote’s previous forecast, back in April, had Canada winning 22 medals — six gold, seven silver and nine bronze. That would match the country’s second-highest total ever for a non-boycotted Summer Games (alongside Atlanta 1996 and Rio 2016) and fall two short of the non-boycott-record 24 medals Canada won three years ago in Tokyo, which included seven gold.

The new projections, released last week, drop Canada down to 20 medals. The good news is that the gold count remains at six and the silver increases to nine, but the bronze falls to five.

So, what’s changed?

For the gold medals, not much. Gracenote’s model still has swimming phenom Summer McIntosh winning both of her best events (the 400m individual medley and 200m butterfly) and 800m runner Marco Arop, judoka Christa Deguchi and break dancer Philip Kim (aka Phil Wizard) taking gold in theirs. The only change is in the decathlon, where Canadians Pierce LePage and Damian Warner have flipped positions. Warner is now projected to repeat as Olympic champion while LePage, the reigning world champ, falls to silver.

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Unfortunately, that might be too optimistic an outlook for LePage. He missed last week’s Canadian track and field trials due to an unspecified injury that has prevented him from competing for virtually the entire outdoor season. LePage was still named to the Olympic team, but it’s fair to wonder whether he’ll be fit enough to contend for a medal — or even make the trip to Paris.

Even if LePage can’t go, Canada looks poised for a lot of medals in track and field. Along with the golds for Warner and Arop, Gracenote is still predicting silver and bronze for reigning hammer throw world champions Camryn Rogers and Ethan Katzberg while upgrading shot putter Sarah Mitton and the men’s 4x100m relay team from bronze to silver.

On the down side, the model still thinks relay anchor Andre De Grasse won’t win a medal in the individual 100m or 200m, even though he’s the defending Olympic champ in the latter and has never missed the podium in an Olympic event.

The model might also be underestimating Katzberg. He came out of nowhere to win gold at the world championships last year, but the now 22-year-old looks like the real deal. Katzberg is undefeated in 2024 and owns the three farthest throws in the world this year. His best (a North American record 84.38m in April) is almost three metres clear of anyone else’s. Meanwhile, Rogers’ chances for the Olympic women’s gold improved recently when world leader Brooke Andersen fouled out at the U.S. trials and failed to qualify for Paris. Removing the 2022 world champion, Rogers has the two best throws of the year.

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While Canada is projected to win the same number of track and field medals (seven) as it was in the April forecast, Gracenote cut the swimming total from six medals to four. McIntosh should have a hand in all of them: in addition to her pair of gold in the projections, she’ll presumably be part of the women’s 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay teams that are tapped to take bronze. But the 17-year-old sensation went from a bronze in the 200m individual medley in the April forecast to off the podium in the new one. Reigning Olympic 100m butterfly champ Maggie Mac Neil also lost her bronze slot.

Another downer: the Canadian women’s soccer team, whose surprising gold-medal victory in Tokyo was probably the highlight of the 2021 Games in this country, is projected to miss the podium for the first time since 2008. The forecast also has the rising men’s basketball team falling short of the medals despite its historic bronze at last year’s Basketball World Cup. The women’s eight rowing team is projected for bronze after its thrilling Olympic gold-medal win three years ago.

To end on some more positive things in the Canadian medal predictions, canoeist Katie Vincent is still projected for two silvers; Canada is expected to win its first artistic (formerly synchronized) swimming medal in 24 years; and the model says Tammara Thibeault will capture Canada’s first boxing medal since the late David Defiagbon’s heavyweight silver in 1996.

Here’s the full list of Canada’s projected medals from the latest Gracenote release:

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Swimming: Summer McIntosh (women’s 200m butterfly)

Swimming: Summer McIntosh (women’s 400m IM)

Track and field: Marco Arop (men’s 800m)

Track and field: Damian Warner (decathlon)

Breaking: Philip Kim (B-Boys)

Judo: Christa Deguchi (women’s 57kg)


Track and field: Men’s 4x100m relay team

Track and field: Pierce LePage (decathlon)

Track and field: Camryn Rogers (women’s hammer throw)

Track and field: Sarah Mitton (women’s shot put)

Boxing: Tammara Thibeault (women’s 75kg)

Canoe sprint: Katie Vincent (women’s single)

Canoe sprint: Katie Vincent and Sloan MacKenzie (women’s double)

Judo: Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (women’s 53kg)

Artistic swimming: team event


Swimming: Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team

Swimming: Women’s 4x100m medley relay team

Track and field: Ethan Katzberg (men’s hammer throw)

Rowing: Women’s eight

Judo: Shady Elnahas (men’s 100 kg)

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