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5 Things: Winter Olympics Officially Kick Off In Pyeongchang

Ryan Mayer

Football season just wrapped up, and March Madness isn't here just yet, but there's still plenty to keep sports fans entertained in the coming weeks as the 2018 Winter Olympics get underway from Pyeongchang, South Korea. Over the course of the next two weeks, athletes will hit the slopes, ice, and half-pipe as they compete for medals. With 15 disciplines split up into multiple different events spread out during that time-frame, there can be a lot to keep track of. We'll do our best to bring you the best of the Olympic action with 5 Things You Missed.

North Korea, South Korean Athletes Walk Out A Unified Country

There is a certain politically charged nature entering these Olympic Games, with the on-going back-and-forth between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. president Donald Trump and the long history of tensions between the two countries sharing the Korean peninsula. However, during the Opening Ceremony, the hostilities and tension were put aside, at least for a night, as athletes from the two countries entered the stadium together under a unified Korean flag during the parade of countries.

Tonga Flag-Bearer The Talk Of The Opening Ceremonies

With the Opening Ceremonies officially kicking off the Games, we once again saw the pageantry and fun of the home country welcoming the world to their city and the various representatives of the 92 countries taking part in the Games enter the stadium. Normally, the talk coming out of the ceremony is the fireworks or the shows that the home country has put together as part of the event. Two years ago in Rio, that all changed when a Tongan taekwondo fighter Pita Taufatofua, entered the stadium shirtless and oiled up while bearing his country's flag. Last night, he did it again.


As you can imagine, that's one of the main talking points on Twitter. Taufatotua is competing in cross-country skiing in Pyeongchang, an impressive feat considering his country doesn't get snow.

Curling's Newest Event Gets Underway

One of the favorite sports of the Winter Olympics, Curling, added a new event for this year's Games, Mixed Doubles. Unlike the normal Men's or Women's curling events, the mixed doubles teams consist of just two members instead of the traditional four. In case you're wondering what that looks like:

Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The round robin of the event schedule began on Thursday and after one day of play, the United States team has gone 1-3, beating the "Olympic Athletes from Russia" and losing to Canada, Switzerland, and the Republic of Korea. Their next bout comes against China, followed by a match-up with Norway.

Curling is the only sport that's gotten into the results that will eventually lead to the medal round. However, the biathlon, Alpine Skiing, Ski Jumping and Luge have all had their training rounds and will be getting into the trial phase of their competitions this weekend.

CAS Dismisses Appeals Of 45 Russian Athletes

The Court of Arbitration for Sport handed down its ruling on the 45 Russian athletes who had appealed their suspensions by the IOC for their role in the widespread doping that reportedly took place at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. The athletes were hoping to have their suspensions repealed so that they would be able to participate in this year's Games. Those hopes were denied with the CAS dismissed the appeals because the Russian officials "did not show that the work of the commissions established by the IOC to evaluate applicants "was carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary or unfair manner."

There were 28 Russian athletes who had their appeals upheld by the CAS earlier in the month, and the lieftime ban that was instituted by the IOC was lifted in most cases. But, the fall out continues from the reported doping scheme that came out of the last Winter Olympics.

Nathan Chen's Olympic Debut One To Forget

18-year-old male figure skater Nathan Chen has been one of the most hyped athletes entering this year's Games. Chen entered the Olympics undefeated on the season but in his first time on the ice in Pyeongchang for his short program as part of the team competition, Chen had a rough performance. He gave an analysis of his performance afterwards:

"I just wasn't thinking of the right technical things before the jumps," Chen said. "I was a little bit ahead of myself. Obviously, that's not what I wanted to do on my first Olympic run but I'm also upset that I sort of let the rest of the team down.

"I'm glad I got the opportunity to at least put my program down and learn from it, now all I can do is try to analyze what I did wrong and move on."

He won't have too long to stew on his result from that event, as he's back on the ice Friday for the men's individual event. Team USA was able to recover from Chen's tough day, finishing in second with 14 points, behind Canada with 17 and there's another three days of competition to go in the team portion.

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