PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – The Opening Ceremony is still a day away, but the Winter Olympics already have begun.
A pair of siblings from McFarland, Wis., making their Olympic debut helped open the Games on Thursday in the mixed doubles event in curling — one of four disciplines being newly introduced.
Matt Hamilton and his younger sister Becca defeated Team OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia) 9-3 in seven ends.
Later, the Hamiltons lost to Canada 6-4 in eight ends.
After practicing together for more than a decade, Matt and Becca qualified for the Olympics in mid-December at Fogerty Arena in Blaine.
The mixed doubles comprises a male and female player. Curlers play up to eight ends, compared to 10 in the four-member team event. Mixed doubles games tend to be fast-paced, with more opportunities to score big.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Matt described himself as an animated person who brings energy to the team, while Becca said she has a calm mentality to keep things in control.
“She’s kind of the calm to my storm,” Matt said.
Other early events
Figure skating gets underway with the team competition, which provides an early look at the performers and routines that will be on display in the individual competitions. First up are men’s and pairs short programs. Three Olympic rookies represent the United States.
NBC’s first day of prime-time coverage begins Thursday at 7 p.m. NBCSN’s early coverage wraps up at 9 a.m.
U.S. flag bearer
Erin Hamlin will carry the U.S. flag into Friday’s Opening Ceremony. The four-time Olympic luger from Remsen, N.Y., is retiring at the end of the Olympics after nearly two decades of racing competitively.
Norovirus fears may turn out to be much ado about nothing, but with a national reputation on the line, officials are scrambling to contain its spread on the eve of the biggest planned event in South Korea in years.
Norovirus is a common, infectious bug that causes unpleasant symptoms, including diarrhea and vomiting, but doesn’t require medical treatment.
According to Olympic organizers, the norovirus spread began Sunday when private security workers staying in the Jinbu area of Pyeongchang started complaining of headaches, stomach pain and diarrhea.
12 years from now
Salt Lake City became the first U.S. city to announce its intentions to bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics. Los Angeles already is hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics. The same country hasn’t hosted back-to-back Olympics since the U.S. in the early 1980s.