For the foreseeable future, Germany, Canada, and the United States will battle for the overall medal title in the Winter Games, with Russia and Austria close behind (though Russia could see a bump in the 2014 Games, which it will host).
Indeed, the only real mover in the medal tally is expected to be China, which is employing the same techniques it used in the Summer Olympics in its quest to rack up a record number of medals in Vancouver.
• USA Today forecasts that Canada will top the table with 34 medals (13 gold), with Germany placing second with 32 (eight gold), and the US third with 25 (nine gold).
• Not surprisingly the Canadian Press is even more bullish, predicting that Canada will finish first with 37 medals.
• Economist Daniel Johnson, whose economic and demographic data have predicted the medal table of the past five Olympic Games with greater than 90 percent accuracy, puts Canada first with 27 medals and the US second with 26.
• Olympic historian David Wallechinsky has Canada winning the goal medal tally (which is the standard that the International Olympic Committee uses) with 13, but overall finishing fourth – behind Germany, the US, and Russia – with 24 total medals.