Ice Network

Who will stand on the podiums in PyeongChang?

Icenetwork contributors make their picks for 2018 Olympic Winter Games
  • Ice Network on Facebook
  • Ice Network on Twitter
According to our cumulative predictions, one of the three men pictured above will not come home with a medal from PyeongChang. -Getty Images

Icenetwork asked contributors Jean-Christophe Berlot, Sarah S. Brannen, Philip Hersh, Nick McCarvel and Lynn Rutherford to predict the medal-winners at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Jean-Christophe Berlot

Ladies

1. Carolina Kostner (Italy)
2. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
3. Satoko Miyahara (Japan)

Kostner's technique, finetuned by working with Alexei Mishin the last two years, has never been better. Medvedeva and her Russian counterpart, Alina Zagitova, battled at the recent European championships, with the former defeating the latter; they may reach PyeongChang completely exhausted by their rivalry. Of the two, Medvedeva has the slight advantage because of her components. Miyahara has worked tirelessly for these Olympics, and she shouldn't repeat the mistakes she made at the 2018 Four Continents Championships.

Men's

1. Shoma Uno (Japan)
2. Javier Fernández (Spain)
3. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)

Hanyu is certainly the best, but by adding quads he probably doesn't need, is he trying to do too much? Uno will show up in PyeongChang with his incredible stamina and could pull off a big upset. Fernández may be the wisest of them all; he will attempt to maximize his scores by drawing on his experience and staying within his capabilities.

Pairs

1. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (Germany)
2. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)
3. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)

Many top pairs are trying to look like ice dancers these days; in that aim, the Germans are the best. The Chinese aren't be far behind, and it would be a feel-good story if Duhamel and Radford were to have a night to remember in PyeongChang and win an Olympic medal.

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada)
3. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (United States)

The French have some pressure on them; the Canadians have even more pressure on them, as they didn't come back to win a silver medal. If both teams skate their best, the French should win, just like they did at the Grand Prix Final. Hubbell and Donohue are very much on the rise, and they won't let this opportunity pass them by.

Team

1. Canada
2. United States
3. Olympic Athletes from Russia

The athletes from Russia should win the ladies portion, but Canada potentially has a stronger team in the other three categories, and can compete very well in ladies. Team USA is strong enough in all four disciplines, with one potential winner (men's).

Sarah S. Brannen

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Alina Zagitova (Russia)
3. Kaori Sakamoto (Japan)

Zagitova and Medvedeva are competing for the gold medal; the rest of the field is vying for bronze, and there are about nine women who could take it. I thought all year that Zagitova would win -- so often, it's a young teenager, unburdened by the gravity of the situation, who hops out on Olympic ice and takes the top prize -- but then she went out and won Europeans, dumping the whole humungous weight of expectations on her shoulders. My "second pick" for bronze is Carolina Kostner, whose bright green bedazzled unitard could land a triple lutz-triple toe all by itself.

Men's

1. Shoma Uno (Japan)
2. Nathan Chen (United States)
3. Javier Fernández (Spain)

If Yuzuru Hanyu skates his best, he will win, but I don't see how he can possibly be at his best after losing two months of training and just getting back on the ice a few weeks ago. Still, the thought of leaving him off the podium makes me want to curl up in a ball and howl. To me, it comes down to Chen and Uno for first and second. This event is probably more open than it has been in decades, and there are at least four other guys who could end up on the podium on the right night. Arooooooo!

Pairs

1. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (Germany)
2. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)
3. Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (Russia)

I feel like Aliona Savchenko is finally going to get that Olympic gold she has been seeking for 16 years. This podium leaves the Canadian pair broken-hearted, but they can console themselves with the team gold (see below).

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada)
3. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (United States)

We're all predicting the same top two, right? I will attempt to be more interesting and predict that the top two scores will be wildly, controversy-inducing close. I thought Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani were a likely bet for bronze, and then they looked off at the U.S. championships in San Jose. All three Americans are good enough for a podium finish, but without a decided leader among them, will they cancel each other out? I'm closing my eyes and throwing a dart.

Team

1. Canada
2. Olympic Athletes from Russia
3. United States

The team event may be very close between gold and silver, and equally close between bronze and fourth place. The Americans' strength in singles should be enough to eke out a bronze despite the mighty French pairs and dance teams.

Philip Hersh

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Alina Zagitova (Russia)
3. Maria Sotskova (Russia)

Evgenia Medvedeva, unbeaten from late 2015 until countrywoman Alina Zagitova beat her at Europeans, will rally to lead a sweep by three Olympic debutantes, aged 18, 17 and 15, respectively. Grande dame Carolina Kostner of Italy, who will be 31 when the Games begin, can break the Russian hegemony by limiting her mistakes, and a flawless Kostner could win gold if she keeps the difficult jumps in her programs. Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada likely needs two clean programs for a medal shot. Fast-rising Kaori Sakamoto of Japan put herself among the medal contenders with an impressive win at last month's Four Continents Championships.

Men's

1. *Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
2. Javier Fernández (Spain)
3. Nathan Chen (United States)

Defending champion Yuzuru Hanyu gets an asterisk over the uncertainty surrounding his injury recovery. When healthy, Hanyu is unquestionably the world's best. Fernández, world champion in 2015 and 2016, is trying to show he didn't peak two years too soon. China's Boyang Jin and Japan's Shoma Uno are also strong medal contenders. Will this be a case, as it was in 2014, of last man standing?

Pairs

1. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)
2. Aliona Savchenko and Brunot Massot (Germany)
3. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)

The Chinese and Germans are in a class by themselves in all aspects of pairs skating. Duhamel and Radford will battle for bronze with Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia.

Dance

1. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada)
2. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
3. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (United States)

As in pairs, the top two teams are well above the rest. In what likely will be a controversial decision no matter the verdict, Virtue and Moir's electric short dance will give them a second gold (and record third Olympic dance medal). All three U.S teams are viable medal contenders.

Team

1. Olympic Athletes from Russia
2. Canada
3. United States

Russia's only possible real weakness is in the men's category. Canada has a shot at gold if Patrick Chan gives two clean performances. Pairs team Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim are pivotal to the U.S.' hopes for more than bronze.

Nick McCarvel

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Alina Zagitova (Russia)
3. Kaetlyn Osmond (Canada)

Medvedeva has had her own challenges the past few months, but I was encouraged by her performance at Europeans, and she's been so steady (so steady!) on the international stage the last three years. Zagitova will skate solid enough for silver, while Osmond -- the best athlete out there in women's skating -- will go two-for-two on clean programs to earn bronze.

Men's

1. Nathan Chen (United States)
2. Javier Fernández (Spain)
3. Shoma Uno (Japan)

I might be on my own with this one (and probably not very popular with legions of Japanese fans), but I don't see Yuzuru Hanyu defending his Olympic title, mostly due to what has been a super frustrating season. For Chen, the build-up has been slow and steady, and I see Fernández holding strong enough to win what would be his first Olympic medal.

Pairs

1. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)
2. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (Germany)
3. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)

I know there have been whispers about an injury for Sui and Han, but if they skate their best, they are the standout pairs team in the world. Not far behind are Savchenko and Massot, who have improved so much since joining forces in 2014. Duhamel and Radford have had such a rocky road in the recent past...how about some Olympic redemption for the Canadians?

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada)
3. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (United States)

The race between the French, Canadians and U.S. teams is of great fascination. Recent results suggest that Papadakis and Cizeron have the edge, and to me their programs are quintessentially Olympic, just enough so that they get the edge over Virtue and Moir. And I think that the results from the U.S. championships hold: Hubbell and Donohue sneak in for bronze. 

Team

1. Canada
2. Olympic Athletes from Russia
3. United States 

With improved form from Duhamel and Radford, the Canadians will get standout performances from Patrick Chan and Osmond in the team event (and Gabby Daleman, if they use her), helping them to gold over the OAR. Another Olympic team event, another bronze for the U.S., which is just too weak on the pairs front.

Lynn Rutherford

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (Russia)
2. Alina Zagitova (Russia)
3. Kaetlyn Osmond (Canada)

She's coming off a foot injury and didn't deliver her best performances at the European championships, but Medvedeva has proven her consistency and competitive fire time and time again; this is her moment, and I believe she will skate clean. If she does that, I think she'll edge Zagitova on the strength of higher program components and, perhaps, a stronger short program. That leaves a host of ladies -- including Carolina Kostner, Kaori Sakamoto and Satoko Miyahara -- battling for bronze, but I'm betting Osmond will finally find her footing in the free skate.

Men's

1. Nathan Chen (United States)
2. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan)
3. Javier Fernández (Spain)

Men's skating is a young man's game, and the time is now for Chen. Although he's had his issues this season, the 18-year-old American is undefeated and beat Hanyu at the Rostelecom Cup. With the Japanese star coming off injury, Chen has more momentum and should arrive in PyeongChang with more confidence. For me, it's a toss-up between Fernández and China's Boyang Jin for bronze, but Fernández is a pressure skater and Jin -- although terrific at the 2018 Four Continents Championships -- can be inconsistent.

Pairs

1. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (Germany)
2. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (China)
3. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (Canada)

Savchenko and Massot were magical at the Grand Prix Final, and Savchenko's decades-long quest for Olympic glory -- moving from Ukraine to Germany, starting over with Massot after winning five world titles with Robin Szolkowy, battling injuries at age 34 -- is too good a story for me to deny. That's an emotional pick, though, because the Germans are brittle and the Chinese have the elements and programs to win. Determination and clean side-by-side triple lutzes will lift the Canadians to the podium.

Dance

1. Gabriela Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France)
2. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Canada)
3. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (United States)

I've changed my mind a few times on this one, but I keep thinking back to the Grand Prix Final, where judges clearly preferred the French on all counts. If both teams skate clean, I think Papadakis and Cizeron win by a narrow margin, simply because panels seem to prefer their "Moonlight Sonata" free dance over Virtue and Moir's Moulin Rouge!. The Shibutanis are fired up after their narrow defeat at the 2018 U.S. Championships and have consistently edged Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, and Madison Chock and Evan Bates in international competition -- but, really, any of the three U.S. teams could medal.

Team

1. Canada
2. Olympic Athletes from Russia
3. United States

This pick is a leap of faith that Patrick Chan will muster the motivation and confidence to deliver two more great programs and cap his career by helping lift Canada to team gold. If he leaves his triple axel at home -- or if Japan qualifies for the final round of the event -- Russia will likely prevail.

Icenetwork Consensus*

Ladies

1. Evgenia Medvedeva (14 points)
2. Alina Zagitova (8)
3. Carolina Kostner (3)

Men's

1. Nathan Chen (9)
2. Javier Fernández (8)
3. Shoma Uno (7)

Pairs

1. Aliona Savchenko and Bruno Massot (13)
2. Wenjing Sui and Cong Han (12)
3. Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (4)

Dance

1. Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (14)
2. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (11)
3. Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (3)

Team

1. Canada (14)
2. Olympic Athletes from Russia (10)
3. United States (6)

*First-place predictions were worth three points, second-place predictions two points and third-place predictions one point.