On January 16, 2022, the 20th Olympic Games in Paris will take place. France has won the most Olympic medal count of any country in history—a total of 804 — and they have a good chance at winning gold again in their own country. Though they’ve only been able to bring home four gold medals so far, this is a statistical anomaly based on their historical performance: In the last eight olympic medal coint France has competed in, they have won nine total gold medals. This ratio is unlikely to shift much over the next 25 years: The International Olympic Committee estimates that by 2032 there will be 2 billion people living on Earth with 3-4 billion more by 2050.
Gold medal odds
The following individuals are the ten most likely Olympic Medal Count to win gold in 2022, according to the IOC’s medal table. If you add up all of the medals these athletes have won, it comes to roughly 446 for a total of about 25 gold medals. In comparison their Asian competitors would have a total of about 87 golds, which is less than half as many as France. What this suggests is that France probably has at least 25% better chances than any other country at winning gold in 2022.
1. Dina Asher-Smith (United Kingdom)
To anyone who watches track and field, Dina Asher-Smith is one of the most obvious potential gold medalists. She is only 20 years old, but has already won two Olympic gold medals for the 200 meter dash—the first person in history to do so—and a silver medal for the 100 meter dash. In her 2017 winnings she broke Usain Bolt’s record by becoming the fastest woman in history at 10.85 seconds. She’s already proven herself to be a phenomenal sprinter and should easily have four more gold medals by 2022.
2. Kylian Mbappe (France)
Currently the second most famous 20-year-old in football Olympic Medal Count, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe’s career arc is one of the most promising in history. After being scouted by many of Europe’s best clubs, he made his debut for AS Monaco at age 16 and scored a goal during the match. He is now on the French national team, where he has played twice in 2018 and scored two goals. His PSG contract expires in 2022, and it’s highly likely that he will still be one of Europe’s top players by then. It would not be surprising to see him win multiple gold medals over his career.
3. Kirani James (Trinidad and Tobago)
The first black athlete to win the sprint double at a single Olympics, Kirani James is 4-time Olympic gold medalist and has shown he can run with the best of them by winning 5 world championships. In 2006 he became the first black sprinter to win a gold medal at an individual world championship. He’s also won two Olympic gold medals, as well as two silver medals for tranfers. He has four other world championship golds and will be racing in his sixth Olympics next year—perhaps one more gold would be in order.
4. Meseret Defar (Ethiopia)
Another historic victory for black women, Meseret Defar is a multiple-time Olympic Medal Count who holds the female distance records in both the 5000 meters and marathon. In 2016 she became the first athlete to win three gold medals at the U23 World Championships. She is also a current Olympic champion with a silver medal from 2008, so she could add to her collection of medals in Paris next year.
5. Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa)
The most individual gold medalist so far in Rio, Wayde van Niekerk has already won three world championships golds and will be competing in his fourth Olympics in 2028.
6. Sarah Sjostrom (Sweden)
Another Olympic champion, Sarah Sjostrom is one of the most exciting swimmers on Earth who has already won three gold medals at major competitions. She’ll be representing Sweden in her home country of 2028 and likely will bring their medal count back up to the top level it was at in 2012.
7. Shaunae Miller (Bahamas)
A track and field Olympian, Miller started running professionally in 2013, and then placed first in the 400-meter dash at the 2015 World Championships. She won bronze at 2016 Rio Olympics and silver at this year’s IAAF World Championships.
Even though France has not been able to match the winning ratio of other countries, they still have the ability to win multiple golds over the course of their career. Going back to the last eight Olympics where France has participated, their overall medal count was 47-19-8 for a total of roughly 125 medals. Assuming that olympic medal count trend keeps up and there are only 2 billion people on Earth in 2032, this would mean that France would come away with 247 more gold medals, meaning they’d have a total of 446—far and away most in history.