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Pyeongchang 2018: What you missed from the opening ceremony and day 1 of the Winter Olympics

PYEONGCHANG 2018

What you missed from the opening ceremony and day 1 of the Winter Olympics

Canadian ice dance team Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir lead team Canada into the Olympic stadium as the flag bearers during the opening ceremonies at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Friday, February 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette



Latest news

  • For today’s Olympic guide, please go here
  • Canada’s 225-strong complement of athletes marched through Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium led by flag-bearers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. John Doyle said the opening ceremony was a dubious rallying cry for harmony
  • The logistics of having North Korea join the Games, and appear at the opening ceremony alongside the U.S., has created nightmares for organizers, faced with avoiding any hint of a diplomatic incident
  • Canada took an early lead in the Olympic team figure skating competition on Day 0, led by pairs skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford
  • All four Canadian riders, Sebastien Toutant, Mark McMorris, Max Parrot and Tyler Nicholson, qualified Friday night for the final


What you missed from the opening ceremony

Feb. 9, 2018: Fireworks erupt as the cauldron is lit with the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The Winter Olympics sparked to life in a vivid, colourful ceremony of fire and ice in South Korea on Friday, though the diplomacy was tougher to choreograph in the stadium where leaders from nations that are sworn enemies sat close together.

South Korean figure skating superstar Kim Yuna lit the Olympic cauldron. Kim, who won gold at the Vancouver Games in 2010 and silver in Sochi four years later, performed a short skating routine before receiving the torch and sending flames shooting up to the cauldron.

South Korea, which is using the Pyeongchang Games to break the ice with North Korea, seated its presidential couple alongside U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, with two of the North's most senior officials sitting in the row behind.

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President Moon Jae-in, who wants to harness the Olympic spirit to pave the way for talks over the North's weapons programme, warmly shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's smiling sister as well as the North's nominal head of state.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were all smiles as they carried the Canadian flag into the opening ceremony. The beaming figure skaters led Canada's red-clad contingent into Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, one of 92 nations to enter the chilly 35,000-seat facility on a blustery night where temperatures dipped to -8 C with the wind chill.

Virtue, of London, Ont., took the first turn with the Maple Leaf before passing it to Moir, of Ilderton, Ont., halfway through their tour of the venue.

The Canadians waved to the crowd, snapped selfies and danced to the music, but like the rest of the countries in the parade nations, they moved a little faster than usual to get to their seats — probably because of the cold.

The 225-member team is the Canada's largest for a Winter Olympics, but some of the athletes skipped the festivities, while others indicated beforehand they would leave soon after their march around the pentagon-shaped stadium with the official start of competition looming Saturday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wished Canada's athletes good luck in a statement released Friday and said the team's diverse makeup is a reflection of the country.

"When Team Canada marches into the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, young Canadians can look at our team and see themselves," Trudeau said. "Our Olympians hail from across the country and from all kinds of different backgrounds.

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- Reuters and Canadian Press


What you missed on Feb. 9


Snowboard (Men's slopestyle qualifying)

All four Canadian riders, Sebastien Toutant, Mark McMorris, Max Parrot and Tyler Nicholson, qualified Friday night for the final. Toutant finished third in heat one with a 78.01 before Parrot put on two impressive runs, finishing first in heat two with a best score of 87.36. McMorris finished just behind Parrot on the strength of his second run with a 86.83. Nicholson finished fifth in heat two with a strong score of 79.21. The final for men's slopestyle will be Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.

A lot has happened since McMorris arrived at his first Olympics four years ago in Sochi, Russia. He won a bronze medal in men's snowboard slopestyle back then, despite competing with a broken rib. Two years later, he came back from a broken femur. But it was his backcountry crash in March 2017 that nearly ended his career and his life. After suffering several major injuries, including a broken jaw, ruptured spleen and collapsed lung, the Regina native is back at the Winter Games. Similar to McMorris, Max Parrot is a dual medal threat in snowboard with big air's inclusion. The four-time Winter X Games champion from Bromont, Que., will be competing at his second Olympics after finishing fifth in slopestyle in 2014.

Freestyle skiing (Women's and Men's moguls qualifying)

Mikael Kingsbury finished first in the opening qualifying run of the Olympic men's moguls competition on Friday. Kingsbury, from Deux-Montagnes. Que., took top spot with 86.07 points on the Phoenix Park course. Russia's Aleksandr Smyshliaev was second with 83.93 points and Dmitriy Reikherd of Kazakhstan was third with 81.23. Philippe Marquis of Quebec City was eighth with 77.77 points. The top 10 competitors in the 30-man field qualified for the opener of the three-round final Monday night. Athletes who missed the cut will get another chance in a second qualification round earlier that day. Marc-Antoine Gagnon of Terrebonne, Que., was 11th overall, less than a quarter-point behind the cutline.

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Canadian Andi Naude, from Penticton, B.C., was second in the women's competition with 79.60 points, a hair behind Perrine Laffont of France (79.72). Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal was fourth (77.66). Audrey Robichaud of Quebec City also made the cut by finishing 10th (72.48). Montreal's Chloe Dufour-Lapointe (69.53) was 13th. She'll get another chance in Sunday's second qualification round before the three-round women's final.

Figure skating (Men's and pairs short programs)

Canada went into the figure skating team event in Pyeongchang eyeing a gold medal and despite some early stumbles on the first day, the Canadians emerged relatively unscathed thanks to a strong performance from pairs skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.

Early Olympic jitters and the unusual challenge of having to compete in the morning in South Korea played havoc with the men's short program earlier in the day, with several top skaters failing to land key jumps, including Canada's Patrick Chan.

But the mistakes were spread evenly throughout the field, allowing Chan to finish in third place, before Duhamel and Radford followed up with a second-place finish in the pairs event. The combined performances leave Canada in first place overall after Day One of the three-day competition.

- Grant Robertson

Canada’s Patrick Chan falls during his short program in the men’s portion of the figure skating team competition at the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics Friday, February 9, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

Curling (Mixed doubles)

John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes, Canada's first competitors at the Games, improved to 4-1 in the inaugural Olympic mixed doubles curling competition. After dropping their opener to Norway's Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten in the morning, Lawes and Morris have been on fire, winning four in a row and out-scoring their opponents 31-12. They defeated Switzerland Friday evening 7-2.

Kaitlyn Lawes of Canada delivers a stone against the U.S. in the Curling Mixed Doubles Round Robin Session 2 during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games Feb. 8, 2018.


MORE FROM THE GLOBE

  • Canada has assembled a dream team to vault Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to the podium in their final Olympics, Grant Robertson reports.
  • Olympics offer promise of unity, but critics warn it may strengthen North Korea’s nuclear resolve, Nathan VanderKlippe reports
  • Finding my father at Yongpyong: a Winter Olympics journey decades in the making. A photo essay by Taehoon Kim

FOLLOW THE GLOBE IN PYEONGCHANG



With a report from The Canadian Press

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