Beijing Winter Olympics Are Just Weeks Away

(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

The 2022 Beijing Olympic Games are now less than a month away. The winter sports extravaganza begins on Friday, 4 February and ends on 20 February. The final prep competitions and races have taken place and we now have the clearest possible picture as to the destination of many of the medals.

The men’s Downhill skiing is the blue riband Winter Olympic discipline – similar to the 100 meters in the Summer Olympics – but this event is notoriously difficult to predict.

The women’s slalom is much easier to decipher. It is a straight fight between 2014 gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin and 2021 overall World Cup winner Petra Vlhova.

The biggest favourite of all in the alpine ski events is Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt in the Giant Slalom. The 24-year-old is already a five-time winner this season.

Netherlands Safe on Thick Ice

The Winter Olympics consist of 109 medal events in seven sports covering 15 separate disciplines. As usual the Netherlands can be expected to scoop the speed skating events – where they took eight golds at the last Winter Olympics.

Germany could fare best in the Luge and Bobsleigh events, while the USA’s best hopes are in Snowboarding.

Four years ago, the medal table was topped by Norway, and they are massive odds-on favourites to win the most golds and top the overall medal table.

The Nordic country has a good spread of gold medal candidates in many sports. Resultantly they are 4/9 to win the most golds and 1/5 to take home the most medals in 2022.

Winter Olympics Betting Odds – Most Medals Overall, odds via Unibet*

  • 1/5 Norway
  • 7/2 Germany
  • 8/1 Canada
  • 8/1 Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)
  • 8/1 USA
  • 66/1 Netherlands
  • 80/1 Sweden
  • 150/1 France
  • 150/1 Japan
  • Others available

* Winter Olympics 2022 odds correct at time of publication.

ROC Numerically Much Stronger in 2022

But it’s the Russian athletes competing under the Russia Olympic Committee (ROC) banner who may prove to be the best Winter Olympics 2022 bet. In 2018 the organization (then called OAR – Olympic Athletes from Russia) claimed 17 medals (two gold) but their squad was relatively small (168 athletes).

This was a result of each contender needing individual clearance from the International Olympic Committee to compete. This followed the exposure of the 2014 Sochi Olympic doping scandal.

The Russian team is likely to be more than twice the size in 2022 and in addition to traditional strongholds such as Figure Skating and Ice Hockey, ROC athletes are prevalent in Cross Country Skiing and stronger than ever before in Biathlon.

Odds of 10/1 are available about the ROC topping the medal table. Based on the latest Gracenote predictions there is only limited hope. However, if ROC can take five medals from Norway in the ten Cross Country events – the countries trade as first and second favourites in most – the complexion of the medal table could change dramatically.