Two-time U.S. men’s champion Nathan Chen will perform his short program in the first phase of the Olympic team figure skating event, to be held on Friday at Gangneung Ice Arena. The husband-and-wife duo of Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim will represent the U.S. in the pairs short program on Friday.
Since the Knierims are the only U.S. pairs entry, they will also be the U.S representatives in the pairs free skate portion of the team event, on Monday.
Chen, a master of the quadruple jump, won his second straight U.S. men’s title last month at San Jose. He’s expected to contend for a medal in the men’s singles competition, which will be held Feb. 16-17.
Four-time Olympian Erin Hamlin will carry the U.S. flag during the opening ceremony at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced Thursday.
Hamlin, who won a bronze medal in the luge at the Sochi Games in 2014, was selected by a vote of U.S. Olympians.
“Being named to an Olympic team is an amazing accomplishment and making four teams and the bronze medal is so much more than I could have imagined I would accomplish,” Hamlin said in a statement. “Now being voted flag bearer is a whole new level.”
Of the two daughters Greg and Robin Brandt raised in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minn., it was Hannah who was more fascinated with the culture and customs of South Korea than Marissa, whom the couple had adopted from that country as a 4-month-old. The girls went to Korean culture camp together and Hannah was an eager camper, entranced by the hanbok — a traditional Korean dress and outfit — and the language and food, while Marissa wanted to assimilate and be like every other American kid.
In Minnesota, that meant skating. Marissa, older by 11 months, was a figure skater. Hannah played hockey, and eventually Marissa joined her. They played in high school together but went to different colleges, Hannah to the powerhouse University of Minnesota and Marissa to Division III Gustavus Adolphus College. Hannah continued playing in a women’s pro league but Marissa thought her hockey career ended when she finished college.
Instead, they find themselves sharing lunch and strolls through the Pyeongchang Olympic Village. Hannah got here as a forward on the U.S women’s hockey team. Marissa will play defense for the united North/South Korea team under her birth name of Park Yoon-Jung. “I could not have imagined this, ever,” Hannah said Wednesday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister, an increasingly prominent figure in the country's leadership, will be part of the North's delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics, officials said Wednesday.
Kim Yo Jong, believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s, would be the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Analysts say her inclusion in the Olympic delegation shows North Korea's ambition to use the Olympics to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.
By sending a youthful, photogenic person who will undoubtedly attract international attention during the Olympics, North Korea is also trying to construct a fresher and warmer public image and defuse potential U.S. efforts to use the Pyeongchang Games to highlight the North's brutal human rights record, experts say.