February 26, 2006


Figure 1

Canadian medal prediction, 2006

Figure 1 — Updated probability distribution for Canada's 2006 winter Olympic medal total (click to enlarge). Prediction is based on the probability assessment here, updated as events are decided.

After another four-medal day for Canada in Turin, we can safely say that one part of my medal prediction was incorrect; 25 medals will be enough to finish in the top 3 in the medal table. In fact, barring a very unlikely Austrian sweep of the medals in the men's 50 km mass start, 24 medals — Canada's current and final total — will be good enough to finish third.

The COC's Own the Podium program has achieved its interim goal. They did not reach their stated target of 25, but my prediction of 21 was proven to be a bit pessimistic. To be fair to myself, my prediction did include a "one-sigma" standard deviation of ±3 medals. I think that standard deviation probably gives a good rough idea of the uncertainty in Olympic prediction, so I will cut the COC some slack. Also, as I noted before, two other panels of experts pegged Canada's total at 21 and 24.

I've got two further analyses I want to do concerning the prediction, and the long-term goal of 35 medals. But I will save that for a slow news week.

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