02/06/2013 01:50 EST | Updated 04/08/2013 05:12 EDT

COUNTDOWN TO SOCHI:Sport-by-sport look at Canada a year out from 2014 Olympics

CALGARY - The Sochi Olympics open one year from Thursday. Canada won 26 medals four years ago in Vancouver. Here's a sport-by-sport look at Canada's team and predicted medal haul in Russia:


If Canada's men can stay healthy for the next 12 months — and that's a big if — Erik Guay, John Kucera, Manuel Osborne-Paradis and Jan Hudec have proven they can stand on the podium on any given day in men's downhill and super-G. Marie-Michele Gagnon and Erin Mielzynski are medal longshots in women's slalom and giant slalom.

The one to watch: Erik Guay.

Medal prediction: 1


Jean-Philippe Le Guellec's gold medal in a World Cup sprint in December was historic for Canada and a breakthrough for the Shannon, Que., skier. He needs more of those results, however, to be considered a legitimate medal contender in Sochi.

The one to watch: Jean-Philippe Le Guellec

Medal prediction: 0


Defending Olympic champion Kaillie Humphries of Calgary is dominating women's bobsled a year out from the 2014 Games. The men have the talent and tools to produce a medal in the two-man and four-man events in Sochi.

The one to watch: Kaillie Humphries

Medal prediction: 2


Own The Podium has invested a lot in nordic skiing since 2010 because it represents 30 per cent of the medals available in Sochi. Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., and Alex Harvey of St-Ferreol, Que., lead a men's team poised to get on the podium after seven top-10 results in 2010. Kershaw and Harvey are contenders for gold in the team sprint and carry medal potential into their individual races.

The one to watch: Alex Harvey

Medal prediction: 2


No country will be as battle-hardened as Canada's entries. The qualification road to Sochi requires beating the best teams in the world several times at domestic events just to wear the Maple Leaf at the Games. The pre-trials and trials tournaments are scheduled for later this year.

The one to watch: Glenn Howard is the favourite to represent Canada in men's curling.

Medal prediction: 2


Reigning world and Olympic champions Tessa Virtue of London, Ont., and Scott Moir of Ilderton, Ont., look ready to dazzle again in ice dance. Can world champion Patrick Chan of Toronto capture Canada's elusive first gold in men's singles? With a new team event in Sochi, the combination of Chan, the ice dance team and decent results in pairs and men's singles gives Canada another medal opportunity.

The one to watch: Patrick Chan

Medal prediction: 3


Canada has more depth in freestyle than any other sport. There are multiple medal threats across all five disciplines, including the new events of halfpipe and slopestyle. Calgary's Roz Groenewoud is a top contender in women's halfpipe, the event her late teammate Sarah Burke championed to get into the Winter Games prior to her untimely death last year. Alexandre Bilodeau of Rosemere, Que., will try to defend his title in men's moguls.

The one to watch: Roz Groenewoud

Medal prediction: 9


Anything less than hockey gold is a disappointment to Canadians. The NHL has yet to declare its participation in men's hockey in Sochi. The Canadian women prepare harder than any other country to win gold and have won three in a row, but every meeting with the U.S. women these days is a coin toss.

The one to watch: Hayley Wickenheiser

Medal prediction: 2


Alex Gough is a consistent medal producer internationally. She and fellow Calgarian Sam Edney make Canada a strong medal contender in the new mixed relay event, but a medal there depends on a strong leg from a young doubles team.

The one to watch: Alex Gough

Medal prediction: 1


Canada will likely have one quota spot in the last men's-only sport in the Winter Olympics. Wesley Saville of Calgary is currently trying to earn it.

The one to watch: Wesley Saville

Medal prediction: 0


This sport's constant crashes and post-race disqualifications make it hard to handicap. Canada should produce medals from the men's and women's relays. Charles Hamelin, the defending Olympic champion in the 500, remains a medal threat in that distance.

The one to watch: Charles Hamelin

Medal prediction: 4


The women's squad, led by 2006 bronze medallist Mellisa Hollingsworth and this year's world bronze medallist Sarah Reid, has a decent chance at producing a medal in Sochi. Defending Olympic champion Jon Montgomery took last season off and is still adapting to a new sled setup.

The one to watch: Sarah Reid

Medal prediction: 1


When women's ski jumping was excluded from the 2010 Winter Games, some of Canada's top female talent retired. Atsuko Tanaka returned to the Canadian team in 2012 after competing for Japan for two years. She's finished in the top 10 at a couple of World Cups, but Canada isn't a strong podium contender in either men's or women's ski jumping.

The one to watch: Atsuko Tanaka

Medal prediction: 0


Coming off a four-medal world championship, the snowboarders will be a key medal producer in 2014. Olympic champion Maelle Ricker and world championship medallist Dominique Maltais give Canada a one-two punch in women's snowboardcross. The new discipline of slopestyle is fertile medal ground as Mark McMorris of Regina won this year's X-Games title and Spencer O'Brien of North Vancouver, B.C., has won a women's world title in the event.

The one to watch: Maelle Ricker

Medal prediction: 3


The long-track team isn't as deep as it once was with the retirements of Clara Hughes and Kristina Groves. Christine Nesbitt, the Olympic champion in the 1,000, remains a medal favourite. The London, Ont., native can pull the women's pursuit team to a medal. While Denny Morrison of Fort St. John, B.C., recovers from a broken leg, teammate Jamie Gregg of Edmonton is posting strong international results in the sprints. The men's pursuit team is also a medal contender.

The one to watch: Christine Nesbitt

Medal prediction: 2