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2014 Winter Olympic figure skating medal predictions

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According to Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun on Thursday, Skate Canada high performance director Michael Slipchuk is hoping that Canada will win three medals in figure skating at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

The goal is realistic as reigning three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Ottawa will contend for a medal in men's singles, reigning Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of London, Ontario are almost a lock to medal in ice dance, and Canada should be right there with Russia, the United States and Japan to contend for a medal in the newly formed team competition.

Another major question will be if Canada can win a gold medal in figure skating? That task is going to be tough because Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States enters the Olympic Winter Games as the defending world champions and Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan beat Patrick Chan at the Grand Prix Final in Fukuoka, Japan in December.

No Canadian man has ever won an Olympic gold medal in men's figure skating and Chan might just be in the best position to do so. However in order for him to do so, he will need more consistency with his technical jumps, something that has eluded him lately.

Other Canadians who will contend are Meagan Duhamel of Lively, Ontario and Eric Radford of Balmertown, Ontario, along with Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ontario and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto who finished in third and fourth respectively at the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships in London. However, the Canadian pairs will have to probably rely on an error from Qing Pang and Jian Tong of China to medal. Also, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje of Waterloo, Ontario are ranked fifth in ice dance, but have a chance of joining Virtue and Moir on the podium with a great skate.

There will finally be a lot of attention towards Canadian ladies' champion Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, Newfoundland. Osmond, who finished eighth at the World Championships last year after winning Skate Canada, is unlikely to contend for a medal in women's singles but needs to have a solid performance for Canada in the team competition.

The battle in the team competition will be between Osmond and Russian men's singles skater Maxim Kovtun. Whoever does better, will go a long way to securing a gold medal for their country.

Here are my predictions in Olympic figure skating:

Men's singles (February 14)

Gold--Yuzuru Hanyu--Japan
Silver--Patrick Chan--Canada
Bronze--Tatsuki Machida--Japan

Women's singles (February 20)

Gold--Mao Asada--Japan
Silver--Kim Yu-Na--South Korea
Bronze--Julia Lipnitskaia--Russia

Pairs (February 12)

Gold--Tatiana Volosozhar/Maxim Trankov--Russia
Silver--Aliona Savchenko/Robin Szolkowy--Germany
Bronze--Qing Pang/Jian Tong--China

Ice Dance (February 17)

Gold--Meryl Davis/Charlie White--United States
Silver--Tessa Virtue/Scott Moir--Canada
Bronze--Ekaterina Bobrova/Dmitri Soloviev--Russia

Team (February 9)

Gold--Russia
Silver--Canada
Bronze--United States

* Long programs for each event in brackets.

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