Thu | Feb 22, 2018

United Korea steals show in Pyeongchang

Published:Saturday | February 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Jamaican athletes wave flags during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea last night.

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP)

A united Korea stole the show at Friday's opening ceremony, and a united Korean hockey team will be in the spotlight today at the Pyeongchang Olympics. North and South Korea marched together as the games were officially opened at the Olympic Stadium.

Today the women's hockey team that is made up of players from the host country and its neighbour to the north will play their opening game against Switzerland.

Earlier the lower house of Russian parliament has issued a statement protesting a court's decision barring 45 banned athletes from the Pyeongchang Olympics just hours before the opening ceremony.

The International Olympic Committee had banned Russia over a massive doping scheme at the 2014 Sochi Games but allowed 168 Russian athletes to compete as "Olympic Athletes from Russia."

Dozens more filed appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport that ruled yesterday to uphold the IOC's right to decide who can compete.

On Friday night South Korean figure skating gold medallist Yuna Kim ignited the Olympic cauldron for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in a chilly opening ceremony.

A North Korean and South Korean from the countries' joint hockey team also participated in the ceremony, handing off to Kim.

 

Biggest opening ceremony

 

The opening ceremony kicked off what will be the biggest Winter Olympic Games to date with more than 2,900 athletes from 92 countries competing.

Kim won a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and a silver at the 2014 Sochi Games before retiring from competition.

She remains perhaps the country's most popular sports personality and has worked as a goodwill ambassador to promote the Pyeongchang Games.

A White House official says Vice President Mike Pence and the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un did not interact despite being seated just feet apart during the Olympic opening ceremony.

Pence was seated between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The dictator's sister, Kim Yo Jong, and the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, were seated a row behind.

The White House official says Pence stood only for the U.S. team, despite other people in the box standing and applauding when athletes from the two Koreas walked in together.