The combined Korea women’s hockey team finally has its first goal of the Olympics, courtesy of a pair of Americans.
The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
5:55 p.m.
The combined Korea women’s hockey team finally has its first goal of the Olympics, courtesy of a pair of Americans.
Randi Heesoo Griffin scored at 9:31 of the second period on the Koreans’ 33rd shot of the Olympics in their third game. She grew up in Cary, North Carolina, and her mother is from South Korea.
Griffin was set up for the goal by Marissa Brandt, who now lives in a suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and who is playing for the country where she was born. Her birth name is Park Yoonjung, the name she uses on the back of her Korean team jersey.
Griffin’s goal led to an eruption from fans filling Kwandong Hockey Center. Better yet, the goal pulled the combined Korean team within 2-1 of Japan — South Korea’s biggest Asian rival.
___
5:30 p.m.
Shaun White has dismissed the sexual assault allegations made against him in a 2016 lawsuit as “gossip.”
White won his third Olympic gold medal Wednesday in the men’s halfpipe, then was criticized on social media and questioned in a press conference about allegations made in a lawsuit by a former drummer in White’s rock band.
The woman says White sexually harassed and refused to pay her. The lawsuit was settled last May.
White was asked in a media conference if the lawsuit might tarnish his reputation.
He says, “I’m here to talk about the Olympics, not gossip and stuff.” He adds, “I don’t think so.”
Reporters attempted to follow up about the lawsuit, but the conference moderator shot them down. White rushed off stage as reporters questioned him about the allegations following the conference.
___
5:10 p.m.
The Olympic women’s individual biathlon has been postponed due to strong winds hitting the Alpensia Biathlon Center.
Forecasts are predicting gusts of more than 15 mph Wednesday night, making it difficult for competitors to shoot their rifles.
The event has been moved to Thursday, starting ahead of the men’s individual biathlon.
Wind has been a problem throughout the Pyeongchang Olympic Games. The women’s slalom was also canceled Wednesday and spectators were asked to evacuate the Olympic Park in the coastal city of Gangneung because it was so gusty. The men’s downhill and women’s giant slalom have also had to be postponed.
___
4:20 p.m.
There are sports rivalries, and then there’s Korea versus Japan. The fierce grudges over historical persecution cannot be untwined from the sports for many Koreans, and these emotions will be front and center Wednesday when a combined team of North and South Koreans plays regional power Japan in women’s hockey.
Both have yet to win a game these Olympics. Both desperately want that win to come against their loathed rival.
South Korean forward Choi Ji-yeon says defeating Japan would bring “much happiness” to the Korean people because of the “bad things that happened with Japan in the past.”
The Korean team has had some tough games, and Japan is the favorite. Korea lost 8-0 to Switzerland on Saturday, and then 8-0 to Sweden on Monday. After that game, Korean players vowed redemption in their last preliminary round match against Japan.
___
4:15 p.m.
American ski racer Tommy Biesemeyer will miss the men’s downhill Thursday after hurting his right ankle while training. The U. S. ski team said Wednesday he was taken to a local clinic to receive treatment and was released.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle will take his place in the race.
Biesemeyer said in a statement: “You are supposed to be optimistic in times like these and say something like, ‘I will come back stronger than ever.’ But I just can’t bring myself to do it. I am honored to have been named to Team USA and walking in the Opening Ceremony is a moment I’ll never forget.”
___
3:55 p.m.
Officials are asking spectators to evacuate the Olympic Park in the coastal city of Gangneung and take shelter indoors because of strong winds.
An announcement in Korean and English advises fans to go inside for safety Wednesday afternoon. Workers are disassembling tents around the park.
Volunteers are also using bullhorns to tell fans to go inside. Many were queued up to go inside the Samsung building near the hockey arena.
Winds are blowing steadily around 23 mph (37 kph) with stiffer gusts rattling and shaking the giant tent anchored with metal beams in Gangneung.
A media work tent was closed because of the gusting winds ahead of a women’s hockey game between Japan and Korea.
___
3:40 p.m.
American Emily Sweeney is recovering from a frightening crash that knocked her out of the final run of the Pyeongchang Olympic women’s luge competition.
Sweeney was still experiencing back pain after Tuesday’s crash, and she was being monitored by USA Luge’s medical staff. USA Luge says Sweeney is doing well and her parents are visiting with her in the Athletes’ Village.
The Pyeongchang Games were Sweeney’s first Olympics. Sweeney lost control around a curve considered the track’s most treacherous spot, then careened through several more turns before crashing.
The plan is for Sweeney to continue being checked regularly by doctors for the next few days. USA Luge says, “Further steps will be taken, if necessary.”
Sweeney doesn’t have any other events scheduled at the Olympics.
___
3:20 p.m.
The winds are so strong at the Pyeongchang Olympics that officials are closing the media work tent outside the Kwandong Hockey Center ahead of a game between Japan and Korea.
An official asked reporters and photographers to move to work locations inside the hockey rink Wednesday because the media tent was being closed.
Winds are blowing steadily around 23 mph (37 kph) with stiffer gusts rattling and shaking the giant tent anchored with metal beams in Gangneung.
A heavy contingent of media is at the Kwandong Hockey Center for the women’s hockey game between Japan and Korea. The two countries have a long and bitter history.
___
3 p.m.
Switzerland has edged Sweden 2-1 to take the top spot in Group B of women’s hockey at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The win ensures Switzerland, the 2014 bronze medalist, will face either Finland or the Russians on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Phoebe Staenz scored the game-winner at 11:28 of the third period. Alina Muller also had a goal and an assist, and Christine Meier had two assists. Goalie Florence Schelling made 33 saves for an Olympic record with her ninth career win, breaking a tie with Canada’s Kim St. Pierre.
Muller gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 13:51 of the second period for her tournament-best sixth goal.
Sweden, which hasn’t medaled since taking silver in 2006 at Turin, tied it with Anna Borgqvist’s power-play goal at 7:35 of the third.
Staenz scored on the power-play to keep the Swiss undefeated. They beat Sweden to win bronze in 2014.
___
2:30 p.m.
Next stop is Tokyo in 2020 for the oompah band Kleintje Pils, aka “the Dutch giants on clogs” at the Pyeongchang Games.
It will be full circle if they make it to the Summer Games in two years’ time. The brass band, known for their stirring renditions of classics like Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” started out at the 1998 Nagano Games in Japan.
The Dutch already reign supreme on the ice at the speedskating oval and on Wednesday, Kleintje Pils, which translates to “Small Beer,” took the infield again.
“Just before leaving for Korea, we studied the song ‘Gangnam Style’ and it has become our biggest hit here,” said Ruud Bakker, who wields a bass drum. “Koreans may be subdued, but this gets them going.”
Decked out in their orange-striped shirts, casual pants and wooden shoes, Kleintje Pils had its first performance at a hockey match. “The fans are different. They raised the roof,” said Bakker.
___
1:55 p.m.
The Chinese pair of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong led Russian skaters Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov by less than a point after the short program in the Pyeongchang Olympics.
Sui and Han scored a season-best 82.39 points Wednesday to a breathtaking, almost ethereal version of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah.” They embraced on their knees as the music came to an end, holding the pose for a moment as the crowd roared its approval.
Tarasova and Morozov scored 81.68 points to a piano concerto by Rachmaninov to keep them in contention heading into Thursday’s free skate.
Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada were third with 76.82 points. That was less than a point ahead of German favorites Aliona Savchenkno and Bruno Massot.
___
12:15 p.m.
Snowboarder Shaun White has won America’s 100th Winter Olympic gold medal, throwing down a spectacular final run in the men’s halfpipe.

Continue reading...