Fourth-Place Medal
  • Nate Silver likes Canada to win most golds

    Ask and Nate Silver delivers.

    A Fourth-Place Medal post two weeks ago joked, "Projecting Olympic medal counts has become to sports what predicting electoral college totals is to political junkies every four years. We need Nate Silver to come up with a way that blows everyone out of the water."

    It turns out that Silver, the statistician and writer of FiveThirtyEighty fame, was working on a way to project final Olympic medal standings. The same wickedly sharp mind that nailed 49 of 50 states in the 2008 U.S. presidential election has Canada on pace to win the most gold medals at the Olympics.

    Entering Day 5 action at the Games, Canada is projected to win the most golds, 12.8, along with 32.6 total medals, which would quote-unquote tie the U.S.

    Next up are the Americans (12.1, 32.6) Germany (10.2, 31.7), Norway (7.4, 22.1), and China (5.8, 14.2). He's promising to update daily.

    Silver explained his methodology in a post on Monday.

    What I've done is to compile the projected medal winners

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  • The Hockey Story: Finally, games begin for U.S., Canada

    The Hockey Story sets the scene and the storylines for the day's Olympic ice hockey action, in a handy and easy-to-follow numerical format.

    1. How grand will Canada open?

    The Canadians open their competition against Norway (7:30 p.m. ET; U.S. TV: CNBC), fully aware that every line, every shift and every save will be scrutinized as a harbinger of things to come. They need to start with an emphatic outclassing of Norway, which is clearly the least of the four teams in Group A; but they need to do so without getting too cute with the puck against a Norwegian team that wants to make the neutral zone look like a 10-car pileup on the freeway. Roberto Luongo gets the call in net, getting those home-ice jitters out of the way for the Vancouver Canucks goalie in Game 1.

    2. Sidney and Patrice and Rick

    Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby (pictured) has seen his share of linemates over the years, and one wonders if there will be more mixing and matching in his first Olympic tournament. He

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  • Luger Aya Yasuda disqualified for missing weight

    This is a touchy subject. Japan's Aya Yasuda has been disqualified from the women's luge event Tuesday for being over weight.

    Not "overweight." At 132 pounds, Yasuda is the ideal size for luging. It's her equipment that weighs too much.

    Because of a miscalculation, Yasuda brought too much ballast with her to weigh-ins for Tuesday's competition. Lugers are allowed 13.1 kg of "additional weight." Yasuda brought 13.3.

    Though there is no weight requirement for luge, women who weigh less than 75 kg (Yasuda weighs roughly 60 kg) may make up 75 percent of that difference without going over the limit. Yasuda exceeded that limit by less than half a pound.

    Though Yasuda was not expected to be a medal contender, this would have been her first Olympics. It's unfortunate that the equivalent of the weight of a cheeseburger would keep her from competing, especially when it's the result of accidentally miscalculating a somewhat complex formula. But those are the rules. The IOC has to draw the line

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  • First it was too warm. Then it was too rainy. Next it was too slushy. And now it's too snowy. At least we're making progress.

    For the third time in the first four days of the 2010 Winter Olympics, an Alpine skiing event was canceled at Whistler Mountain due to weather conditions. Tuesday's men's super combined, a race in which Americans Bode Miller and Ted Ligety were expected to contend for a medal, was called off because of heavy snow at the top of Whistler.

    Shouldn't snow be good for skiing? Isn't a lack of snow what organizers of the Games have been fretting about for months?

    Yes, but like all things, snow is only good in moderation. As Bill Pennington explains in The New York Times:

    Heavy snowfall makes it dangerous to contest the downhill portion because the racecourse must be hard and fast, not snow-covered. The snowfall also affects visibility; good visibility is necessary for downhillers to race safely at high speeds.

    The forecast looks good for the remainder of the week.

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  • Love him or hate him, Johnny Weir just may be the most fascinating person to hit men's figure in years. Here are some things you may not know about the U.S. figure skater

    • Though Weir is known more for his artistry, he is still a capable jumper and can even throw a quad jump. He threw one in practice Monday, and is considering it for his short program Tuesday night.

    • In Vancouver, he is staying with ice dancer Tanith Belbin in the Olympic Village, in what she called "the best smelling room in the village." Weir brought candles, bathmats and a poster of Lady Gaga to personalize the apartment.

    • He is fascinated with Russian culture, speaks the language fluently, and has Russian coaches, but says he is above all proud to be an American.

    • After Comedy Central talk show host Stephen Colbert said that Weir was "dependent on fabulousness," Weir said that he agreed and considered sending a costume for Colbert to wear on air.

    • His free skate is titled "Fallen Angel" and is based on the

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