As competition at the Sochi Olympics officially begins, debate goes on in our country as to the success Canadian athletes will have in Russia.
Once considered a country of fourth place athletes (fourth best in the world is nothing to sneeze at(, the games in Vancouver four years ago proved Canadians could compete with the best with world had to offer - and then some.
Through the success of 'Own The Podium,' Canada finished third in overall medals with 26 and first in gold with 14.
In fact, prior to 'Own The Podium,' results for Canadian athletes were trending up.
Canada's medal total increased each games over the last nine Olympics from a low of two medals in Lake Placid in 1980 to 26 four years ago.
Except for a shutout in Calgary, the gold medals total also trended up each year starting in 1980.
(See chart below)
Ironically, the architects of 'Own The Podium' are now in Russia - having been hired away from Canada by the Russian Olympic Federation.
Assisting Canadians in their quest to top Vancouver is the addition of several spots in Sochi.
- Ski halfpipe (men and women)
- Ski slopestyle (men and women)
- Snowboard slopestyle (men and women)
- Team figure skating
- Luge team relay
- Mixed biathlon relay
- Women's ski jumping
Canadians excel in many of these events and are expected to come away with several medals.
We are also expecting success in sports such as hockey, curling and speed skating.
Of course, anything short of a gold for both the men's and women's hockey teams is never good enough in this country.
That all being said, how well do you think Canada will do in Sochi?