The Ultimate Olympics Preview

Published in the Times-Courier Online on behalf of Hesperida Sports Network

The Olympics are right around the corner, and you can feel the excitement in the air!  We at Hesperida Sports Network are committed to providing the best possible overview possible, so we have used our proprietary mathematical models to forecast the medal results in every single event in Hanshui.  In this article, you will learn everything you need to watch the IDU Olympics like a pro, starting with the details and projected medals in every single discipline, followed by the expected medal count for every country competing in Laeral with analysis from our experts.  Let’s get into it!

Event Predictions

This is who we project to win every medal, in each and every event at the Olympics, in alphabetical order. Let’s get started with Alpine Skiing!

The Fellsians are favored to win on the slopes, but Greater Acadia is the deepest team in the field and a threat to medal in all eight events. Some nations like Auria, Gardavasque, and Laeral have strong individual performers in their specific events, like Blake Fèvre (SNA), Shasta Donner (GDV), and Aurélien Lo (LRL), and will likely medal in them even if they don’t get gold. Slokais Islands will also be important to watch; if they don’t win a medal in Women’s Slalom, they might leave Hanshui empty handed.

Eiria and Haesan have the best teams from the high board, with Eiria’s Jean-Pierre Lugē and Haesan’s Lee Na-yeon expected to win gold, and their other contestants expected to do well. Sanctaria and Wosteaque both have specialists, with Donny Barracks and Alexia Yanna, respectively. While other teams will try to crash the party, including Xiomera and Novella, the diving competitions are more about ordering gold, silver, and bronze than seeing which nations will win medals.

Welcome to Novella’s world. Expected to medal in 14 of the 16 swimming events, the Novella Islands are an absolute force in the pool. Lauchenoiria is also expected to put up a good showing, with medals projected in a little under half the events and an outside chance at a couple more. Eiria has a deep roster, and while they’re only projected to win 5 medals, they could easily win more. Star athletes from outside those nations include High Fells’ Miranda Hinson, Trina Klausen and Jonas Davidsen of Grundhavn, and Wosteaque’s dual-threat Alexia Yanna.

Archery is the most competitive event in Hanshui. On the men’s side, there are 5 (!) athletes virtually equally likely to win gold, and in our projections, the order was: Anichel (XIO), Nick Simmons (SCT), Jean-Pierre Paskal (WTQ), Julien Zarabi (LHV), and Han Chung-hee (HAE), with the Lehvantine and Haesanite narrowly losing out on a medal. There is little to decide amongst these five, and any could feasibly win any of the medals. The women’s side is a bit less competitive, but in a close battle between Jang Su-mi (HAE), Maria Williams (SCT), and Catli (XIO), our model thought that Haesan’s “Archery Queen” had a touch more class, but there is really nothing to choose between them and all have a shot at gold. In teams, Xiomera and Haesan are predicted for the top two medals, with Sanctaria lurking just behind them in skill.

Xiomera is the best on the track. No other team has as complete a roster, and they are expected to medal in every event. Lauchenoiria also has a deep roster, but our model thinks they are just slightly less talented than the opposition. Sanctaria’s Reneé Simon is a standout, and Gardavasque’s Fawanda Mizuno and Garrett Merrell are also favored to win their event. Andhrapur’s only projected medal comes in the men’s 800 meter, so that is something to keep an eye on.

There are two nations in the IDU where baseball is no longer just a sport played by mere mortals, and transcends from some quotidian game into something approaching the realm of the divine. They are Haesan and Xiomera, and they are expected to win the gold and silver medals in both baseball and softball. Our model picks the Comets on both occasions, in baseball because of better starting pitching and in softball because of a slight advantage in bullpen depth, but odds are that Xiomera will win at least one of these golds. Great Tequila Island is narrowly projected to win both bronze medals, but they will face stiff competition. In baseball, Milintica and Mallacaland are expected to contend, and in softball, it is Gardavasque and Lehvant with the outside chance to break through.

The hosts are dedicated to basketball like almost no other sport, and it shows. Laeral is projected to win in women’s basketball and just narrowly lose to Gardevasque in the men’s field. Haesan is a clear pick for bronze on the men’s side, with maybe only an outside challenge from Greater Acadia, while Lehvant is a potential threat to win gold on the women’s side.

How tropical Xiomera is expected to clean up in biathlon is beyond us here at the predictions team, but clearly their martial prowess extends beyond climate barriers. More understandable is snowy Grundhavn, who is forecast to have a solid showing here. Sanctaria again brings in expert specialists, with Simon Everett leading the way for the Divine Federation. High Fells does well in the snow, and they deliver here in biathlon as well.

Unsurprisingly, Eiria has the most talented, deepest bobsleigh roster, and Greater Acadia has the talent to compete in every event. Much more surprisingly, Haesan’s women’s bobsleigh team is projected to win gold in both disciplines. Zongongia has a talented roster and will likely win at least one medal, while Laeral’s women’s 2-seat bobsleigh has legitimate medaling chances.

Haesan claims to have invented curling, they have no proof for this, but they wear it as a part of national pride and show up to international bonspiels like they run the place. So naturally, Haesan is projected to win gold in all three disciplines, and it is not even close. Those who will try to stop the unstoppable Frost Demons are Greater Acadia, who are projected silver in both events where they compete, as well as Eiria and Grundhavn. Kerlile’s mixed doubles team is expected to win silver, in a major win for reformers in that country.

Cycling is one of the more wide open sports in Hanshui, and our model thinks the Lauchenoirian team has the most talent of all those in the field. Also, Long Live the Matriarchy! Kerlile is expected to crush in the women’s events, and they should have no difficulty holding on to at least a bronze if things were to go awry. Espi DeGonzalz of Great Tequila Island and Sanctaria’s men’s Madison team are also expected to perform well. The bronze medal races here are all up in the air, so don’t be surprised if you see a nation not on this list take home a medal.

Wosteaque loves their animals, their national team name is literally the “Wosteaquan Fauna,” so of course when horses are involved they are not going to hold back. Haesan is also fielding talented athletes, especially Choi Ye-sol in jumping, who has a serious shot to challenge Pola Wanesa for gold. Zongongia is on the outside looking in, but for a nation that loves horses as much as they do, failing to win a medal would be heartbreaking.

Fencing is a mess. Just about every event has at least 4 competitors that can win at least silver, and teams that have deep, talented rosters are emerging with pittances. Laeral should get more than two medals, and Haesan will likely win at least one silver, but simply put, other teams are better in each of the events. Sanctaria is best-in-class when their most talented fencers like Violet Baker show up, but is dreadful in team play. Novella Islands is similar, sterling in individual foil, but underwhelming elsewhere. Lehvant is a curveball, and in 5 of the 6 events where they compete, they are expected to medal. Xiomera should be dominant, but they find themselves shut out of events and closed in by stronger competition. Projecting this is nearly impossible, so shrug, appreciate the depth of talent in fencing, and enjoy the show.

Of all of the predictions we have made, this one has to hurt the most for a country. Laeral dominated this event two years ago with two golds and a silver, and now they are projected only a measly bronze, despite the addition of the fourth discipline of ice dancing. The reason is that this event is stacked with talent, and Eiria and Grundhavn are fantastic from top to bottom, while Novella and Lehvant have absolute stars like Ava Causey and the Lotfis. Teams like Laeral and Greater Acadia have deep rosters, but they are outshone by others. Figure skating will be dazzling to watch.

Gymnastics is wide open, and athletes from nations from all across the IDU will be able to take the spotlight. From top to bottom, these nations are relying on individual talents rather than national gymnastics programs, and we will be exposed to a variety of talented faces as a result. Notable for the hosts is national hero Rose Yaling, who is expected to win silver for Laeral in the vault. Wosteaque has a few extroardinary talents, most remarkable (and puzzling) is Zoja Berenice, who is a gold medal favorite in the vault, but is expected to be an absolute non-contender on the beam. The Huenyan team is also well poised to claim medals, driven by Mason Perez’s all around performance. Jordan Theroux and Alicia Liepa are also expected to put up strong performances for Eiria as well. In gymnastics we will see a lot of exciting talents, and will likely be surprised by an upset or two breaking into the scene.

There are some rivalries that transcend time and space and simply take on a life and personality of their own. In this place, at this time, in this sport, however, Laeral v. Haesan is a monumental, all-consuming vortex of passion, patriotism, and all out fervor. No one poses a serious threat to either the Snow Leopards or the Comets on their inevitable collision course in the men’s handball final, and when they meet, it will be an unstoppable cacophony rising out of the flats of the Riverlands and extending like tendrils of mist across the whole of Eastern Hesperida. This is what the Olympics are for. This is what these players have dreamed of since they were small, to represent their country in this sport, in this rivalry, that is so uniquely theirs. Our model gives the edge to Laeral, but this game means so much more than that. It is the purest incarnation of centuries of rivalry, and it is what we live for as those who enjoy sport.

On the women’s side, Gardavasque is a real contender, and the bronze medal will likely come down to who avoids the bad draw between them and the two rivals. It will be interesting to see which nation will overcome the challenging semifinal, and if they can use that momentum to win the gold medal game.

It is rare when a sport becomes so ingrained in a national psyche that it becomes a deep symbol of that country, but when one thinks of Greater Acadia, they think of maple leaves, and they think of hockey. Grundhavn wants to stop them, and our model thinks that they are quite close; however it gives the Acadians the slight edge in both games. Like Xiomera in baseball, it is reasonable to assume the Grundhavs will edge them out in at least on of the games. High Fells is a clear favorite for bronze on the men’s side, but Gardavasque will surely face tough competition from the Azaffrani and Wosteaquean women’s teams.

Greater Acadia and Zongongia will compete for gold in what is arguably the least prestigious event in Hanshui, with Acadia’s team a clear favorite on the men, while our model thinks the Zongongian’s duo of Dagmar Feldt and Katharina Daviddatter are slightly better on the women’s side. Astoria is simply better than the rest of the field to claim both bronzes, and it will not be particularly close. These three teams will go home with some sort of hardware.

The Novella Islands and Haesan will be aiming to start a sporting rivalry on the waves in Cordeliers. In every event except men’s windsurfing, the Novella Islands are projected to take home gold, but Haesan is a threat to win in every single event. Eiria is also projected to have a strong roster, and really, they should be doing better than what we project here. The Sanctarian men are specialists and are expected to do well, while Lauchenoiria is projected to win silver in women’s windsurfing, driven by an outstanding performance from Yamilet Fonseca.

Ski jumping is complicated to forecast, as so many teams are in contention for almost every medal. Sanctaria, Zongongia, and Opthelia are the best on the men’s side, but a breakout performance from Greater Acadia’s Jad Mirabeaux or Haesan’s Brent van Norberg could see them take home a medal. On the women’s side, Gardevasque’s Peekaboo Tahoe is clearly favored to win, with Alicia Heraldsley (HAE), Tabitha Montangue (GAC), Alyssa Henson (OPT), and Svanhild Lindquist (ZOG) all in contention for the final two medals.

Grundhavn decided to show up in Laeral and take their soul. The hosts adore speedskating, and are in fact projected to medal in 9 of the 10 events, but the Grundhavish side is projected to win 7 of the 10 golds (!!) and the other three are silver. Eiria is a big loser from the depth of talent at the top, and while they are projected to get six and could conceivably add a couple more, this is a far cry from the 10 medal sweep with 5 golds we saw back in New Riga. With those three squads expected to lock up the majority of medals, the best most other teams can hope for is a bronze here or there.

Eiria rules the waves. While Novella’s Cooper Bambach is expected to challenge them on the men’s side and Gardevasque’s Roxy Billabong is the slight favorite on the women’s side, the Eirians should have no difficulty medaling in both events. Bronze is open, with teams from Wosteaque, Lauchenoiria, Xiomera, Haesan, and Great Tequila Island all expected to be competitive. It should be an exciting debut for surfing at the Olympics. Hang ten!

If curling wasn’t already Haesan’s most dominant sport, takgu would be it. Haesan can conceivably win gold in every discipline, and they will almost assuredly medal in every event. Their women’s side, led by Min Yu-na, is especially talented. The Novella Islands’ women’s team is also skilled, as is their athlete Codie Ott, competing in men’s singles. Laeral’s women’s side, led by Song Jinshun is projected to medal in both individual and teams, and could challenge Haesan for gold (and the more rivalry matches the better!). Milintica is also expected to do surprisingly well in the individual events, claiming two bronzes. Wosteaque’s men’s team is also packed with talent and should be a lock to medal, even if they don’t win gold like we project.

The clay courts in Hanshui are favorable to the Opthelian athletes, and they are expected to dominate. L.O.M. is also favored in the men’s events, with Henry Milton paving the way for a projected silver and gold. Other than that, the field is reliant on strong individual performances like Novella Islands’ Christina Gauthier or Laeral’s Zhan Zexi. It should be wide open, and an upset is not unlikely.

This is another highly competitive sport dominated by individual competitors. Jimmy Speedo of Gardevasque and Sharron Aqila-Fenna V from Wosteaque are the cream of the crop, while athletes from smaller nations like Serriel’s Erdi Seker and Azaffran’s Judy Baum have a chance in the spotlight. This is another event where the bronze medals are wide open, with nations like Andhrapur and Libertas Omnium Maximus having a shot to contend.

The Novella Islands’ men’s water polo team is the most dominant team in the entire Olympics. Period. No one should be able to come close, but Haesan and Milintica will try their best. On the women’s side, Novella is still projected to win, but the Haesanite women’s team (the Silver Whales) is expected to contend for gold, but a large number of teams are also in the mix, including Gardevasque at projected silver, Sanctaria, and Milintica.

Country Rankings

Now that we’ve seen who is favored in all the events, here is our projected medal counts for each country competing in Hanshui.  This list is divided into 5 tiers in terms of expectations.

Tier 1: The Contenders

All three of these teams are powerhouses in a multitude of events and all have a significant chance (from 20% to 30%) of winning the overall medal count.

1. Haesan – 32 Medals (12G|10S|10B – 66 points)

I don’t think anyone in Haesan expected the Olympic squad to be up here projected in first place.  We’re in Suyang now, and if we were to go out in the street outside our studios and poll 100 people on who they think the Olympic favorite is, I’d bet about 90 would say Laeral or Eiria, and the other 10 would say Novella or Xiomera.  Maybe one person would name the Comets.  Being a projected champion just isn’t a sentiment that is felt here.

So Haesan has ended up in an unusual spot: a favorite on paper that absolutely, 100% thinks it’s an underdog.  But if the numbers hold true, Haesan has undoubtedly the best squad competing in Hanshui.

Why are they the favorite?  Quite simply, Haesan has a higher percentage of athletes on their roster that our model thinks can be competitive for top three spots, even (and especially in Haesan’s case) in highly competitive or prestigious events.  The model also believes that Haesan has greater roster depth than its competition, and that less well-known Haesanite athletes in top-heavy sports have a high chance of medaling.  Even more impressive is the fact that 32 medals is not even the most our model thinks Haesan can obtain, in fact, there are several events that our model does not have Haesan medaling in which, according to our calculations, it should place in the top 3 in upwards of 60% of the time.

What could go wrong?  Haesan is competing in a high share of competitive events and is currently projected to win a large proportion of its medals in competitions where 5 or more nations have a significant chance of medaling.  That dynamic means that very few of Haesan’s medals are guaranteed (or as close to it as possible), and that there is a significant amount of uncertainty inherent in that.  The fact that Haesanite losses will likely feed to main challengers like Eiria, the Novella Islands, or Laeral only increases the peril.  In fact, due to the extreme variance involved and a slight bit of systematic bias in our calculations, we would probably estimate Haesan’s projected medal count at 29 or 30, with a higher percentage of silver medals to golds.

What is the best-case scenario?  Haesan can, in theory, absolutely dominate like no other nation in the IDU, pushing 40 medals and gaining a double-digit lead in the medal count.  This naturally would see the nation win on points and the gold medal count as well.

What is the worst-case scenario?  Haesan could fall to as far as fifth or sixth overall if too many projected bronze and silver medals turn into 4th place finishes.  There is a slight possibility it could be even worse if things completely fall apart.

What should I expect as a fan?  Be prepared to scream at your TV for the better part of a month.  It will be a tense medal race, especially for Haesan.  A top-3 finish is reasonable to wish for, but a first-place finish, an absolutely monumental result especially given this Olympics’ setting, is not out of the question by any means.  Be cautious and reasonable about the uncertainty here, but don’t be afraid to dream.

2. Novella Islands – 29 Medals (13G|12S|4B – 67 points)

The Novella Islands are known for being clinical and exacting in their politics, economics, and culture, and their Olympic performance will very likely be a mirror of that sentiment.  Dominant in watersports, when Novella shows up in force, they are expected to win.  The main question is, can their measured style defeat others to win the medal race?

How can Novella win?  Quite simply, Haesan’s athletes need to succumb to the pressure of their competition, and Haesanite losses need to go to teams that cannot overtake Novella in the medal race.  However, it is far more likely that Novella will win the points race (where they are already favored) than the medal race, given the team’s lower risk set-up.

Why is Novella less risky?  Novella Islands’ key teams are often competing in less prestigious sports than their competition (think: Haesan, Laeral, and Eiria), and when the Novella Islands competes in those more challenging events, they are often strong enough to remain favored for medal counts.  This means there are few places where we can see the Novellan team dropping medals from our projection, but there aren’t many events where we see them having a significant chance of gaining any either.  What you see here is more or less what you should expect from the action in Hanshui.

What is the best case scenario?  A win, either on points or in the medal count.  Novella is talented enough to pull it off.

What is the worst case scenario?  Novella has a higher floor than Haesan does.  The worst they can conceivably end up is fourth or fifth overall.

What should I expect as a fan?  There is little need to stress as a Novella Islands fan.  Sit back, relax, and watch your athletes swim their way to 25-30 medals.  If you want to bother yourself with following the Haesanite madness that will inevitably occur, feel free, but be confident you will end up with at least a podium appearance.

3. Eiria – 28 Medals (8G|9S|11B – 53 points)

The runner-up at their home Olympics in ‘21, Eiria is expected to put in another strong performance this year in Hanshui.  Eiria has one of the deepest and widest ranging rosters in the field, expected to compete in the skating rink, in the pool, and even on the waves.  A significant medal haul is expected.

Can Eiria win?  Yes.  Similar to Haesan, Eiria’s roster depth means they are expected to be competitive in many events even if they are not currently projected to medal in them.  Given their already impressive projected medal count, it should not take too much for them to leapfrog Novella and even Haesan in the medal count, since if things go a bit awry for the Comets, the Stars of the Republic should be well positioned to benefit.  However, a large concentration of Eiria’s medals are projected to be bronze, and even more so if they win the medal count.  As such, a win in the medal count is far more likely than a win on points.

Why are so many Eirian medals expected to be bronze?  Eiria has a talented team, but their talent is more widely spread across events and disciplines.  As such, they are not projected to have the skill to gain silver and gold in prestige events like sailing or speedskating where two nations have dominant rosters top to bottom.  This dynamic leads to a lot of projected bronze medals.

What is the best case scenario?  A win in the medal count, maybe even with a 4 or 5 medal lead, but a Novellan win on points.

What is the worst case scenario?  Eiria has the lowest floor of all three main contenders.  If things go poorly, they could fall deep into the pack, towards eighth, ninth, or even double digits.

What should I expect as a fan?  Stress.  Maybe not Haesanite levels of stress, but when your path to a medal count victory will likely see you win at least 40% of your medals as bronzes, it means a lot of must-win playoff matches and close calls.  Eiria has one of the highest variances in the field, and you will feel it every day.  Hope for a podium finish, and if things are going well, you will likely win it all.

Tier 2: Peripheral Contenders

These teams are ones who will rack up significant medal counts and might have a chance at a podium finish.  However, they have little to no chance of winning the overall count.

4. Grundhavn – 25 Medals (11G|10S|4B – 57 points)

The city-state is expected to dominate in the snow, and there are few nations who can compete with their prowess.  In prestige ice sports like speed skating and figure skating, Grundhavish athletes set the standard.  The nation is predicted to outperform nations with hundreds to a thousand times its population, and that is no small feat.

Can Grundhavn win?  Probably not.  They, like the Novella Islands, are dominant where they show up, and are uncompetitive elsewhere.  28 medals is probably the cap, and one of the three contenders above will almost certainly top that.

What is the best case scenario?  A podium is not out of the question, especially if Haesan dominates and Eiria falls as a result.  A win in the gold medal tally is also possible, albeit unlikely.

What is the worst case scenario?  Grundhavn isn’t in the position to lose a lot of medals, maybe only falling to about 23 medals at worst, but the real risk is golds turning into silvers and silvers into bronzes if they are edged out by fierce competition.

What should I expect as a fan?  Grundhavn is already expected to seriously overperform given the nation’s population and international stature.  Don’t worry about the medal count, and enjoy watching your skaters dazzle the world.

5. Xiomera – 24 Medals (9G|8S|7B – 50 points)

As the sun rises, so has Xiomera’s medal count.  Xiomera is projected to finish in second place out of those who also competed in New Riga two years ago, and they remain a force in their key events like athletics, baseball, fencing, and biathlon.

Xiomera slightly underperformed in New Riga.  Why is their medal count in Hanshui expected to be lower, even after new events were added?  Quite simply put, the strength of the competition has outpaced the expansion of the competition.  Medals will be harder to come by in Hanshui, and a nation will need to have serious talent in any event to compete.   The necessity for depth is what hurts Xiomera here compared to its rivals, as Xiomera is exceptional in its legacy events and middling elsewhere.

What is the best case scenario?  Third place is possible.  Even more sweetly for Xiomera fans, that would almost certainly come at the expense of Eiria.

What is the worst case scenario?  Because Xiomera is so dominant in its legacy events, like Novella or Grundhavn, there is little variance here.  Maybe the Golden Sun Empire falls to 9th, but a double digit placing seems highly unlikely.

What should I expect as a fan?  Enjoy watching your sprinters tear up the competition, take in some instant classics on the diamond, and rest confidently knowing your team will put up a performance that will make Calhualyana proud.

6. Wosteaque – 22 Medals (10G|6S|6B – 48 points)

The Wosteaquean team is an absolute enigma.  Relying on individual talent rather than strength across events with strong national sports teams, predicting where Wosteaque will show up is inordinately difficult.  With their strongest athletes competing in high prestige events, there are seemingly no guarantees for this team.

What is the best case scenario?  What you see here.  A high percentage of golds and holding on to all their bronzes.  Maybe a couple more medals here and there, but this simulation is pretty much the best it gets for the Fauna.

What is the worst case scenario? A lot of Wosteaque’s medals are at risk.  Wosteaque could easily drop towards irrelevancy and fall into the double digits.

What should I expect as a fan?  You have a lot of talented individuals, and you just need enough to provide in their prestigious events in order to get a decent medal count.  Follow the players and teams you enjoy and cheer them on to victory.

7. Sanctaria – 22 Medals (7G|10S|5B – 46 points)

The Divine Federation is expected to put up a solid performance in Hanshui.  With an Olympic team that tilts towards supporting individual athletes rather than sporting programs, there will likely be a number of memorable Sanctarian faces that will gain recognition over the coming weeks.

What is the best case scenario?  Fifth.  This team does not have the roster depth to compete with the top three or even Grundhavn.

What is the worst case scenario?  Somewhere in the double digits.  Sanctaria’s individual performers are strong, but like Wosteaque, many are competing in prestige events like archery, fencing, and sailing, where they will have to compete against talented Haesanite, Novellan, and Xiomeran squads.  Those projected medals can evaporate quickly.

What should I expect as a fan?  You have extraordinary talents from Sanctaria, so cheer them on!  The medal count is not really a factor for you, just take in the brilliant performances.

T8. Laeral – 21 Medals (6G|8S|7B – 41 points)

Oh dear.  This is not what we expected from the hosts and winners of the medal count two years ago.  Let’s cut to the chase; there’s one thing on all our minds:

What happened here?  The competition got stronger and Laeral’s roster did not.  Laeral’s path to victory in New Riga was powered through sweeping events like speedskating, fencing, and table tennis.  Now, they are just simply outperformed by Grundhavn, Novella, and their rival Haesan in those events.  Laeral has a deep roster and is competitive in many events, it’s just that our model thinks that Laeral has the fourth or fifth best athlete in many competitions, and that does not project to win medals.  That being said, the dynamics at play indicate that this projection is closer to Laeral’s floor than their ceiling.

What is the best case scenario?  Out of all the teams in this tier, Laeral has the best chance of winning the medal count.  They have a deep roster, and just need a bit of luck and flashes of brilliance to be in competition with the best of them.  Winning is highly unlikely, but if both Haesan and Eiria drop medals compared to these projections, Laeral will be a large beneficiary and a podium is not out of the question.

What is the worst case scenario?  In a situation reminiscent of Eiria, Laeral has a lot of projected medals that are at risk as well.  If everything goes poorly, they could crater to around 15 medals.  To add insult to injury, Haesan would most likely be the largest single beneficiary from that drop, and a severe Laeralite underperformance would likely align with an overall win by their rivals.

What should I expect as a fan?  Not being humiliated despite potential losses and staying proud is your number one priority.  You as the fans of the host nation can make this event a win for Laeral no matter the medal count.  Regardless of what happens in the arena, keep your heads up, take pride in your country, and enjoy having Laeral be in the international spotlight.   Your team is capable of winning and getting to the top 3, but even if these projections hold true, take solace in the fact that your nation put on an event that the entire IDU can be proud of.

T8. Lauchenoiria – 21 Medals (6G|8S|7B – 41 points)

This is a very nice projection for the Butterflies.  They are ahead of two teams that bested them in the medal count in New Riga and are tied with last Olympiad’s champions Laeral.  This is a result they will happily take in Buttercity.

What is the range of outcomes?  Close to what you see here.  Lauchenoiria is not competing in too many highly competitive events, but they aren’t just out of reach of many bronzes either.

What should I expect as a fan?  Lauchenoiria is going to put up good results on the track and in the pool.  There is not a tremendous amount of uncertainty here, so take pride in a good result and enjoy the show.

Tier 3: The Eclectic Middle

These could be big nations that just aren’t quite in the top tiers, or smaller nations that are putting on a show.  Either way, these nations will be interesting and fun to watch.

10. Gardevasque – 20 Medals (11G|4S|5B – 46 points)

Similar to Wosteaque, Gardevasque relies heavily on individual talent, and where they excel, they are some of the best in the IDU.  Gardevasque can be a contender in the gold medal count, but they just don’t have the depth to compete with the teams above.

11. Greater Acadia – 20 Medals (5G|7S|8B – 37 points)

Crushing on the slopes, Acadia struggles outside of the winter domains.  They are still expected to get a nice medal haul, and triumph in their key national sports.  Unfortunately, there is not much more upside to this Acadian roster than what is projected.

12. Lehvant – 11 Medals (1G|4S|6B – 17 points)

Lehvant should slightly exceed these expectations.  They are talented, but exceedingly competing in prestige events like fencing and archery.  Our model did not give them the benefit of the doubt on multiple occasions, and we would not be surprised if they end up with 13 or 14 medals instead and a couple more golds.

13. High Fells – 10 Medals (4G|1S|5B – 19 points)

The Fellsians are expected to win big on the powdered slopes, and in a way they’re like Acadia, but with less roster depth.  Their wintry exploits will be a joy to watch.

14. Opthelia – 9 Medals (3G|2S|4B – 17 points)

Opthelia is expected to dominate on the clay courts in Hanshui, and beyond tennis, they have solid medaling chances in several events, some even quite prestigious.  They will be fun to watch.

15. Milintica – 8 Medals (0G|1S|7B – 9 points)

Incredibly, Milintica is the only nation in the world that has a serious shot at matching or exceeding its New Riga medal count.  Unfortunately, a lot of bronzes forecast mean a lot of uncertainty and nerves for the Milinticans.

16. Zongongia – 7 Medals (1G|3S|3B – 12 points)

A solid performance is expected from Zongongia, with a few additional pick-up opportunities in sports like bobsled still available.  However, medals in equestrian will be hard to come by, a tough break for a nation with a horse on its flag.

17. Astoria – 6 Medals (0G|0S|6B – 6 points)

This will almost certainly be a tremendous disappointment for the Astorians, as after their fifth-place finish in New Riga, they were certainly hoping for much better.  To make matters worse, all of their projected medals are bronze, and some will definitely face steep competition.  It will be a difficult Olympics for Astoria.

Tier 4: A Handful at Best

These nations have only a few athletes who are competitive in their event and are likely to end up with no more than 5 medals.

18. Great Tequila Island – 5 Medals (1G|1S|3B – 8 points)

A few solid performances are expected from the Tequila Islanders, including in cycling and dressage, but the great pride comes in baseball and softball where they are projected just behind the twin powers of Haesan and Xiomera.  Defending those projections, however, will be difficult.

19. Huenya – 4 Medals (1G|2S|1B – 8 points)

We’re not projecting an exceptional showing from the Freedom Team, but Huenya will make their presence known in Hanshui.  The fact that their projected silver in the 1500M comes at the expense of Xiomera at bronze would make this a more than satisfactory appearance.

T20. Azaffran – 3 Medals (1G|2S|0B – 7 points)

Azaffran is currently under investigation for potential rules violations, and it is likely this estimate could change in light of any verdict.  However, earning medals in this crowded field, especially of this quality, is an achievement in itself.

T20. Kerlile – 3 Medals (1G|2S|0B – 7 points)

The Matriarchy’s projected results suggest a healthy balance between reformers and the establishment, with one silver coming in a mixed doubles curling, and the other two being women’s cycling medals.  These are very safe medals, and even if Kerlile does not place as highly as predicted, they will probably medal in these events nonetheless.

22. Independent Athletes from Auria – 3 Medals (1G|1S|1B – 6 points)

Any Aurian projected medals will hopefully give the nation a chance to come together and heal.  Even though they aren’t projected for a massive haul, Auria’s mere presence at the games shows how sport can be a power for good and unity.  A heartwarming endeavour no matter what happens in Hanshui.

23. Libertas Omnium Maximus – 2 Medals (1G|1S|0B – 5 points)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  Their strength in men’s tennis is all the former giants have left to rely on, and surely there will be long discussions in Litudinem about how to retool and improve for ’25.

24. Serriel – 2 Medals (0G|1S|1B – 3 points)

Serriel is projected to win a couple medals and are threats for a handful more.  They could easily rise up this list with a little luck and a little skill.

Tier 5: One Medal, Please?

The name of this tier is self-explanatory.

T25. Andhrapur – 1 Medal (0G|0S|1B – 1 point)

Andhrapur’s projected medal in the men’s 800M is relatively safe, and they are competitive in a couple other events as well.  They should have at least one medal to bring home.

T25. Slokais Islands – 1 Medal (0G|0S|1B – 1 point)

This hurts for Slokais, with the Olympics in their own region, other peer nations like Haesan, Laeral, and even High Fells far up this list, and their own team expected to drastically underperform.  Their only projected medal is in women’s slalom skiing, and they will face fierce competition for that medal from Zongongia and Gardevasque.  Stunningly, it is entirely possible Slokais walks away from Hanshui empty handed.

T27. Lao Sansong – 0 Medals (0G|0S|0B – 0 points)

Lao Sansong is not projected to win a medal, and there is no event where they are particularly close.  As unrest roils their homeland, it looks like the Olympics will not provide any reprieve.

T27. Mallacaland – 0 Medals (0G|0S|0B – 0 points)

Mallacaland is also projected to go home empty handed.  Their only chance is to repeat and hold onto their baseball bronze, which Great Tequila Island is currently expected to win.  They will also be competing against Milintica and Wosteaque for the bronze, as Haesan and Xiomera are all but guaranteed to meet in the finals.  It is not impossible, but highly unlikely at this point that Mallacaland will win anything.

Final Thoughts

That’s a wrap on our Ultimate Preview for the Hanshui ’23 Olympic Games! Let us know if you think there’s any way our model is off in a way we haven’t addressed, and feel free to comment who you think will win the medal count! Remember, the Olympics are supposed to be about joy and celebrating national pride, so have fun, enjoy the amazing competitions, and cheer on your favorite team!

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