Germany, Norway and Canada are expected to finish atop the medals table at the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics, according to a forecast issued Wednesday.
The prediction comes from Gracenote, a Nielsen company, which analyzes individual and team results from previous Olympic Games, world championships and World Cup competitions.
Alpine skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn are expected to lead the U.S. team to a fourth-place finish with 29 medals. The Americans should also excel in snowboarding, freestyle skiing and speed skating.
A recent ban of the Russian national team will have a significant effect on the competition in Pyeongchang, South Korea, prompting Gracenote to update its earlier forecast. Analysts had predicted the Russians would win 19 medals.
Though athletes from that nation can still apply to compete as “neutrals,” those medals should now go mostly to the top three nations.
A large share of Germany’s predicted 40 medals should come from biathlon, where the country could challenge its own Olympic record by reaching the podium 10 times. The Germans won 11 medals in the sport at the 2006 Torino Games.
Lowell Bailey is favored to become the first American medalist in Olympic biathlon history.
The Games are scheduled for Feb. 9 to Feb. 25.
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