February 15, 2006


Updated Predictions

Canadian medal prediction, 2006 -- Updated 13 February

Figure 1 — Probability distribution for Canada's 2006 winter Olympic medal total (updated).

I've got good news, and I've got bad news.

The good news is that the luge competition is over.

The bad news is that the skeleton competition is about to begin.

Before we leave the luge sliders, though, I'd just like to point out that of the 21 entries in the doubles luge, five of the pairs have the same last name. The winners, Andreas and Wolfgang Linger from Austria, are brothers, as are the Canadians Chris and Mike Moffat, who finished tenth. The fourth-place finishers were cousins Tobias and Markus Scheigl, also from Austria. I don't know anything about Andris and Juris Sics from Latvia (seventh), or Lukas and Antonin Broz from the Czech Republic (sixteenth), but it seems fairly safe to assume that they're family in one way or another.

So close, it's got to be family?

I know I'm not supposed to say this out loud, and I am sure that Olympic-calibre sliders never think about it, but the double-luge position is an extremely intimate one: two skin-suited bodies stacked one on top of the other, front-to-back. So does the high incidence of these pairs mean that men are generally more comfortable in that situation with a family member?

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