PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
The sister of the North Korean leader has arrived in South Korea for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Kim Yo Jong is the first member of her family to visit South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War. She’s part of a high-level delegation attending the opening ceremony.
She smiled brightly as she was greeted by South Korean officials led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon at a meeting room at Incheon International Airport.
She was joined by other members of North Korea’s delegation, including Kim Yong Nam, the country’s 90-year-old nominal head of state; Choe Hwi, chairman of the country’s National Sports Guidance Committee; and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North’s agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs.
Analysts say the North’s decision to send Kim Yo Jong to the Olympics shows an ambition to break out from diplomatic isolation and pressure by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.
Christof Innerhofer of Italy has led the second downhill training session on a windy day and on a shortened course.
Innerhofer was a silver medalist in the downhill at the Sochi Games. On Friday, he finished in a time of 1 minute, 18.97 seconds after race officials delayed the start about 30 minutes because of the conditions.
Kjetil Jansrud of Norway was runner-up for a second straight training day, just 0.01 seconds behind Innerhofer. Beat Feuz of Switzerland had the third-fastest time.
Innerhofer says the wind gusts were so strong that he felt like they blew him down the hill. Jansrud says it’s hard to read much into this training session given the strong wind.
The men’s Olympic downhill is scheduled for Sunday, when more strong wind is in the forecast.
Despite holding a lead heading into the final round of curling’s mixed doubles match, the U.S. lost to reigning world champion Switzerland after the Swiss managed something exceedingly unusual: a perfect score known as a six-ender.
How rare is a six-ender?
Think of it as a hole-in-one in golfing, or a perfect game in baseball.
Although Switzerland was behind by one point entering the final round, Jenny Perret and Martin Rios had an advantage: the right to throw the final stone of the game. They managed to get their first five stones into the house. They then promptly knocked the Americans’ lone rock out of the house.
According to the World Curling Federation, no curling team has ever managed a perfect score at the Olympics.
The chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee says there will be no American bid for the 2026 Winter Games but that the committee will keep its options open for 2030.
Larry Probst says the financial logistics of hosting the Winter Olympics two years before Los Angeles hosts the Summer Games in 2028 are too complex.
There is a possibility the IOC could award 2026 and 2030 together. Probst says the USOC is prepared to be part of the process if so.
Earlier this week, Salt Lake City said it would try to become the American candidate for a 2030 bid. Denver is also considering a bid.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford made up for teammate Patrick Chan’s shaky short program to give Team Canada the lead after the opening day of figure skating’s team competition.
The U.S. team was second, followed closely by Japan and the Olympic Athletes of Russia.
Duhamel and Radford scored 76.57 points in their program to finish behind Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov, whose season-best 80.92 points dazzled a crowd full of Russian fans. But not even that big number could make up for teammate Mikhail Kolyada’s poor short program.
Nathan Chen was wobbly for the Americans, but the pairs team of Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim bailed him out with a dazzling performance set to music from ”Moulin Rouge!”
The team competition resumes Sunday with the ice dance and ladies short programs.
Russian athletes at the Pyeongchang Olympics must wear neutral uniforms and compete under the Olympic flag, but their fans are making no secret of what country they’re from.
A large contingent is holding up signs saying ”Russia In My Heart” in Russian during the figure skating team event. The same message is spelled out in their shirts in English.
Russian skater Mikhail Kolyada struggled in the men’s team short program, falling twice on quad jumps as he finished eighth.
The International Olympic Committee invited 168 athletes to compete, but they’re being called ”Olympic Athletes from Russia.” If they win events, the Olympic flag will fly and the Olympic anthem will be played.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that another 45 athletes and two coaches excluded over doping concerns can’t compete.
IOC president Thomas Bach has run his leg of the torch relay, receiving the Olympic flame from a local teenager who he invited to the opening ceremony later in the day.
Dressed in the official uniform and a thick winter coat, Bach tried to keep warm as he took selfies and exchanged pins with visitors as waited for the flame near the official IOC hotel.
After running in a short distance in light snow, he handed the flame to the President of the U.N. General Assembly Miroslav Lacjak. Bach says ”It’s a great emotion. I have carried the flame seven times but it is always like the first time. This is a great emotion because the torch is a symbol of peace and tolerance.”
Bach predicted an ”excellent Olympic Games,” saying ”I wish these Games to be remembered as a great festival on a human scale.”
The lawyer for Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov has renewed a call for IOC president Thomas Bach to resign.
After the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected appeals from 45 excluded Russian athletes seeking to compete in Pyeongchang, Rodchenkov’s lawyer Jim Walden says ”for the sake of the Olympic ideal, (Bach) needs to resign.”
Walden has accused the IOC and CAS of being ”complicit in enabling Russian doping” for not implementing strong punishments for Russian athletes, including a blanket ban.
Friday’s verdict, he says, is ”a small semblance of justice for clean athletes.”
Despite the 45 appeals being rejected, 168 Russians are due to compete in Pyeongchang as IOC-approved ”Olympic Athletes from Russia” in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.
One U.S. athlete says she’s pleased to hear 45 Russians who were excluded from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns won’t be allowed to compete. Others say the drama has been a distraction.
U.S. skeleton veteran John Daly calls the saga that has dogged the Olympic movement for the past four years ”absolutely ridiculous.” He says the Russians should not be allowed in and that what’s going on now is like something out of a movie.
U.S. women’s skeleton athlete Katie Uhlaender finished fourth in the Sochi Olympics, one spot behind bronze medalist Elena Nikitina of Russia, who was one of the 45 appealing to get into Pyeongchang. She says it’s great news that the Russians lost their appeals.
Nikitina, who was confident of winning her appeal, now will not race in Pyeongchang and possibly never again in an Olympics.
Shoma Uno skated a near-flawless short program, the only stumble coming on his opening jump, and scored 103.25 points to give Japan the lead in figure skating’s team competition.
Alexei Bychenko put together a clean program to place Israel in a surprising second place, while the rest of the big hitters in the men’s competition kept hitting the ice.
Patrick Chan of gold medal-favorite Canada fell on both of his quads but rallied in the back half of his program to take third. Nathan Chen of the U.S. was fourth after doubling a triple toeloop and quad toeloop and falling on his troublesome triple axel.
The event continues later Friday with the pairs short program.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled that 45 Russian athletes who were excluded from the Pyeongchang Olympics over doping concerns can’t compete.
They and two coaches wanted the court to overturn the International Olympic Committee’s decision not to invite them to the games, which open Friday.
The games will still include 168 Russians who have been invited as ”Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.
Figure skating at the Pyeongchang Olympics is underway with the team competition, where 10 nations will send out men’s and pairs short programs at Gangneung Ice Arena.
Canada and the Olympic Athletes from Russia are considered the favorites for gold, with the U.S. a strong contender to land on the podium. Nathan Chen and his array of quads will skate the short program for the Americans while Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim tackle the pairs program.
Teams are awarded points based on their finish in each discipline. The dance and ladies short programs are Sunday, when the field is trimmed to five nations. Each will then field a free skate program for each discipline, with medals decided Monday.
The highly politicized Pyeongchang Olympics are officially opening, but not without some last-minute drama as the Court of Arbitration for Sport is set to announce whether 45 excluded Russian athletes can compete.
The Russians had not received invites to the games from the International Olympic Committee, which said it couldn’t be sure they weren’t involved in Russian doping scandals.
Another 168 Russians have been invited as ”Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag.
The opening ceremony is Friday night, and figure skating training and qualifying competition in events including women’s moguls were underway in the morning.