Canada will need 22 to 26 medals to reach its target of finishing in the top 12 among more than 200 countries at the London Summer Olympics when they open in one year, says Alex Baumann, chief executive officer of Own the Podium.
In Beijing in 2008, Canada collected 18 medals, and tied for 14th with Spain. To be 12th, Canada would have had to match the 24 Cuba brought home from China. To stand 12th in gold medals, it needed seven.
"We'll get a better idea when all the world championships are through," said Baumann, who runs the $36-million Olympic medal-funding program.
Canada doesn't lack for world-class athletes, especially among women. Paula Findlay is one of the world's top triathletes and Perdita Felicien is a multiple world champion in women's 100-metre hurdles. Olympic bronze medal hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep hopes to get into Olympic form after she has a baby in September. Cyclist Tara Whitten is an omnium world champ and 2010 flag-bearer Clara Hughes has left her speed skates to be Canadian champion again in road cycling time trial. Jennifer Abel and Émilie Heymans won a synchro diving medal at last week's world aquatics championships.
"The men have medal potential, too," Baumann said, pointing to omnium cyclist Zach Bell, equestrian star Eric Lamaze, kayaker Adam van Koeverden, freestyle swimming's Ryan Cochrane, who broke through with a bronze in Beijing, and former world champion freestyle sprinter Brent Hayden.