2018 Winter Olympics Officially Open With Opening Ceremonies In Pyeongchang, South Korea
The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea have officially begun with the Opening Ceremonies as well as several events having already taken place. Americans waiting to tune into the ceremonies will have to wait until tonight to tune in as they will be shown on tape delay during primetime.
South Korea is fifteen hours ahead of St. Louis. So as I write this around lunchtime on February 9, it is the early morning on February 10 there.
The XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea officially run from February 9 -25, 2018.
From sports like curling, figure skating and hockey to the outfits and personalities, do you know what to watch for, when to watch and what stories to follow?
We’ve put together an outline to help you as you follow the events of Pyeongchang 2018.
2018 Winter Olympics Guide
When And Where Can I Watch?
NBC has learned from its errors in the past. The vast majority of events will be live-streamed this time around.
Go to NBCOlympics.com to watch or go through your preferred cord-cutting service like Hulu, Sling or DirecTV Now.
NBC started its primetime coverage from South Korea last night with figure skating, skiing and curling. The coverage continues with tonight’s Opening Ceremony and goes all the way to live coverage of the Men’s Hockey Gold Medal Game on Saturday, February 24.
NBC will utilize NBCSN and USA as well as its main affiliates and its Olympic Channel for coverage.
Check out the full schedule of NBC Winter Olympics coverage from Pyeongchang.
The Joint Korean Women’s Hockey Team
In case you hadn’t heard already, North and South Korea are fielding a joint women’s hockey team in the Winter Olympics. For some odd reason it’s being hailed as some kind of grand diplomatic gesture in this part of the world.
It shouldn’t be.
In fact, the South Koreans are rightly pissed off. It’s not like the team was the odds-on favorite on anything to come close to a medal or anything. They only qualified for the field because the host country automatically qualifies.
The agreement forced on the team means that twelve spots are taken up by North Koreans and at least three players from the North have to dress each game.
Who will lead this ragtag bunch? 31-year old Minnesota native Sarah Murray.
Wait, what? Yep, Sarah Murray had never coached before when she met Jim Paek back in 2014. Murray was in town visiting her father, who coaches Western Michigan Broncos.
Paek had been tapped to head South Korea’s ice hockey efforts, as well as coach the men’s, team earlier in the year. Pak and Sarah apparently got along and the former NHLer offered her the job in South Korea.
Sarah Murray’s father is named Andy, by the way. Yep, she’s the daughter of former St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray.
Before the agreement with North Korea was announced, it was already incredibly likely that South Koreans would face an uphill battle.
Now, the whole team doesn’t even speak the same language. They had to make a three-page dictionary just to try and get on the same page with their hockey lingo.
The North Koreans on the team will have quite the cheering squad, however. The country has sent 230 cheerleaders, dubbed the “army of beauties” to cheer on its 10 athletes at the Winter Olympics.
The Opening Ceremonies
Want to be surprised when you watch the Pyeongchang Opening Ceremonies tonight? Don’t read below because we have some nuggets of spoilers.
Two men impersonating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S President Donald Trump were thrown out of the stadium during the ceremonies.
The North and South Korean athletes marched out together under unified flag.
Kim Jung-un will not be making the trip to South Korea. His sister, Kim Yo Jong, was at the Opening Ceremonies instead. She’s the first member of the family to visit South Korea since the Korean War ended in 1953. Like everything in North Korea, she’s a bit of a mystery.
Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance at the Ceremonies as well as at several state dinners before the events. Don’t expect him to be chatting up Kim Yo Jong or any other North Korean official.
Men’s Ice Hockey Without The NHL
The National Hockey League announced back in April that it would not take a mid-season break for its players to represent their countries in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
NHLers had participated in the last five Winter Olympics dating back to 1994.
Several members of the St. Louis Blues, including Vladimir Tarasenko, were not happy about the NHL’s announcement.
Several former NHL players will be playing in South Korea, including former St. Louis Blues Maxim Lapierre and Derek Roy. Team Russia will feature former NHL stars Pavel Datsyuk and IIya Kovalchuk as well as Slava Voynov, who is banned indefinitely from the NHL.
Rasmus Dahlin, who will likely be the #1 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, will represent Sweden.
Another notable player in the tournament is American Mike Testwuide on the South Korean team. Testwuide became a South Korean citizen in 2015 solely to participate in these Games.
Nathan Chen Completes Quadruple Flip, But Falls In Olympic Debut
18-year old American figure skater Nathan Chen made his Olympic debut on Thursday night in something called the team event. He fell attempting something called a triple axel, but landed something else called a quadruple flip.
That’s apparently a big deal and looks like this.
Nathan Chen quadruple flip
It’s Really Cold In South Korea
Think it has been cold in St. Louis? It’s too cold to ski in South Korea.
Olympic skiers were practicing on the skiing course Wednesday and had to throw their skis away after their practice runs. The freezing temperatures cause the snow to really stick to the ski base and ruin the skis apparently.
“One of the coaches said they are throwing the skis out after today,” said Craig Randell, a start-crew technician who is working his third Olympics, told Reuters. “You can’t do anything about it, but with the cold temperatures, the snow adheres to the ski base and twists it. They are turning their skis to garbage real fast.”
244 U.S. Athletes Competing In Korea
244 athletes are representing the United States of America at the 2018 Winter Olympics. They are the largest delegation of the 92 in Pyeongchang.
39-year old Brian Gionta is the most senior member of Team USA and a member of the men’s ice hockey squad. Gionta played 15 seasons in the NHL including suiting up for all 82 regular season games last season with the Buffalo Sabres.
17-year old figure skater Vincent Zhou from Palo Alto, California is the youngest member of Team USA, by about four months. Six U.S. athletes are currently seventeen years old.
Snowboarder Hailey Langland will celebrate her 18th birthday in South Korea during the Games.
The members of Team USA represent 31 different states with Missouri being one of the 19 without a representative.
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