The Latest: Bach: IOC has done its part, now over to Koreas

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):

6:25 p.m.

President Thomas Bach says the IOC has done its part getting North Korea and South Korea together at the Pyeongchang Olympics. He says it’s “now up to the political side to use this momentum” generated from having both Koreas competing with and against each other in the chilly mountains of South Korea.

Speaking at The Associated Press office at the Olympics, Bach acknowledges that “sport cannot create peace. We cannot lead their political negotiation. We have sent this message that negotiations can lead to a positive result.”

Bach says he’s hopeful the detente continues “after the Olympic flame has been extinguished” during the closing ceremony on Feb. 25.

Bach has been emotional about the Koreas and their presence together. He was born in West Germany and won a gold medal in fencing for a divided Germany.

Bach says “now it’s for politics to take over.”


3:45 p.m.

Chloe Kim and three other Americans are through to the finals in women’s halfpipe snowboarding.

The 17-year-old Kim posted the top score during qualifying Monday to earn the top seed in Tuesday’s final. Kim was the only rider to go over 90 points, putting up 91.50 in her first run and topping it with 95.50 in her second.

All four American riders pushed through to the 12-woman final. Maddie Mastro was fourth in qualifying, with 2002 Olympic champion Kelly Clark 11th and Arielle Gold 12th.

The blustery conditions that overwhelmed the field in the women’s slopestyle snowboarding final early Monday didn’t make as much of an impact on the halfpipe on the other end of Phoenix Snow Park.

China’s Liu Jiayu was second in qualifying, with Japan’s Haruna Matsumoto third.


3:35 p.m.

Russian figure skaters at the Pyeongchang Olympics are expressing their deepest condolences to the families of the 71 people killed in an air crash outside Moscow.

Team captain Ekaterina Bobrova says, “It’s really a deep sorrow for our entire country, and compared to this tragedy, I think everything else fades away.”

The Saratov Airlines airliner had just taken off from the country’s second-busiest airport Sunday when it crashed into a field. Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov confirmed that none of the 65 passengers and six crew members had survived.

The Russian figure skaters won silver Monday in the team event.


3:20 p.m.

Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva could have some tough competition for the women’s individual gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Medvedeva’s training partner, Alina Zagitova, won the team event free skate by 20 points Monday, scoring only 2.38 points short of Medvedeva’s record.

That should set up a tantalizing all-Russian contest for the women’s gold on Feb. 21 and 23. Still, Zagitova swears there’s no rivalry with Medvedeva, who broke her own record in the team short on Sunday. She says the two have really bonded during competitions.

Technically, Zagitova and Medvedeva aren’t representing Russia at the Pyeongchang Games. Instead, they’re “Olympic Athletes from Russia” — part of the country’s punishment for doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. While skaters don’t wear national uniforms, whoever wins individual gold will accept the medal in an International Olympic Committee-approved neutral red tracksuit as the Olympic anthem plays.


2 p.m.

Mirai Nagasu and Adam Rippon shared tears of sorrow when they were left off the Olympic team four years ago, but they shed tears of joy together Monday.

The veteran figure skaters put together flawless back-to-back performances.

Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel in the Olympics. Rippon nailed both his triple axels.

They helped earn the United States the bronze medal in the team competition.

Canada won the gold medal with the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” taking the silver.


1:30 p.m.

Jamie Anderson defended her title in Olympic women’s slopestyle snowboarding, surviving blustery and treacherous conditions at Phoenix Snow Park to give the United States its second gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games.

Anderson was one of the few riders in the final to navigate the tricky series of rails and jumps safely as the wind wreaked havoc on the field.

Anderson posted a score of 83.00 in the first of her two runs, then watched it hold up as rider after rider either crashed or bailed. Even Anderson wasn’t immune. She washed out in her second run with the gold medal already wrapped up.

Laurie Blouin of Canada finished second, with Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi third. Anderson is the first woman to win multiple gold medals in women’s snowboarding at the Olympics.


1:10 p.m.

It’s only Day 3, but the International Olympic Committee is already getting asked if the Pyeongchang Games will have to be extended.

High winds have postponed the first two Alpine events. The games close Feb. 25 — almost two weeks away.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams laughed at the notion of an extension. He says, “There’s plenty of time. There’s reserved space in the competition. It’s just a touch premature at this stage.”

Adams describes the delays as typical for Alpine skiing. He says the IOC would never “take a decision that would put into jeopardy the safety of athletes.”

Organizing committee spokesman Sung Baik-you says the frigid temperatures and gusty winds will moderate later in the week.


12:55 p.m.

The United States has earned the bronze medal in team figure skating. It clinched third even before its ice dancers took the ice.

Canada already was assured of the gold and the Russians had taken silver heading into the final discipline. The Americans led Italy by four points, and when the Italian ice dancers, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte, did not score well enough to win the free dance, the U.S. had replicated its third-place finish in the event at Sochi.

That pretty much left Maia and Alex Shibutani’s program as an exhibition.

The medals winners were the same as in 2014, except the Canadians had moved up a spot, and the Russians — the Olympic Athletes from Russia this time around — won gold.


12:45 p.m.

Russian skater Alina Zagitova says she’s delighted after blowing away the competition in the team event free skate.

The 15-year-old skating star scored a personal-best 158.08 points — 2.38 off Evgenia Medvedeva’s world record. She skated to “Don Quixote” to win by a 20-point margin, underlining her credentials as a challenger for the individual gold medal later in the games.

“I’m really happy with my skate,” Zagitova said. “I was able to cope with my nerves and I’m very pleased that I didn’t let my team down.”

Zagitova proved she could beat Medvedeva at last month’s European championships and hopes to do the same at the Olympics, but says there’s no rivalry with her training partner. Instead, she says “we’ve really bonded during these competitions.”


12:05 p.m.

Canada has clinched the gold medal in the team figure skating competition.

The Canadians have 63 points through the men’s and women’s free skates, with the free dance still to come, but the second-place Russians have 58 — and the most they could earn is four more points.

Russian Alina Zagitova won the women’s free skate, topping even her performance in taking the European title last month with a season-best 158.08 points — more than 20 ahead of American Mirai Nagasu.

With Zagitova’s flawless performance, the Russians also clinched the silver.

Nagasu had a personal-best 137.53 points, narrowly edging Canada’s Gabrielle Daleman, who had 137.14, for third. Nagasu became just the third woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics, and the first American woman.

The United States has 53 points, four more than Italy, with the bronze on the line heading into the free dance.


11:45 a.m.

Canada will compete for an Olympic gold medal after sweeping to an 8-4 victory over Norway in the mixed doubles curling semifinal.

Canada went into the seventh end, or round, of Monday’s match leading 5-4 after a tight game. Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes then threw the defining shot of the game, knocking Norway’s stone out of the center of the house and leaving three Canadian rocks close to the target. That gave Canada an 8-4 lead, and Norway was unable to come back from the deficit.

Switzerland and a team of Russian athletes will face off later Monday in a semifinal match. The winner of that game will play Canada in a gold medal match on Tuesday. Norway will play the loser for bronze.

Canada’s John Morris says it was a high pressure game, but that’s what he lives for.


11:30 a.m.

Mirai Nagasu has become the first American woman — and third overall — to land a triple axel in the Olympics, accomplishing the rare feat in the women’s free skate at the team competition in Pyeongchang.

The 24-year-old from Montebello, California, skated first of the five women and led off her routine with the triple axel just 21 seconds in. The feat drew huge cheers from the crowd at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

Japan’s Midori Ito and Mao Asada also landed triple axels during the Olympics.

Nagasu completed a flawless routine, pumping both fists as she finished and got a standing ovation from the excited crowd. She received a personal-best score of 137.53.

Going into the women’s free skate, the Canadians were first in the team competition, followed by the Russians in second and Americans in third. The ice dance free skate is still to come.


11:15 a.m.

Another 19 cases of norovirus have been reported at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

That brings the total confirmed cases to 177 since Feb. 1. Of the new cases, three are among security staff at a youth training center where most of those who got sick are staying. Another 11 cases were confirmed in Pyeongchang and five in Gangneung, the city where the ice sports are taking place.

Authorities say 68 of the 177 people who got sick have recovered and been released from quarantine.

Earlier in the Olympics, about 1,200 security workers were sequestered over norovirus fears, forcing the military to step in to help with security.

Norovirus is a common, infectious bug that causes unpleasant symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting but doesn’t require medical treatment.

There are signs all over the Olympics reminding people to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer.


11 a.m.

Canada is moving closer to winning the Pyeongchang Olympic team figure skating competition despite a mediocre performance by 10-time national champion Patrick Chan in the men’s free skate.

Chan scored a season-best 179.75, but he fell once, put his hand to the ice on another jump and cut short a combination. His artistry and higher-scoring elements boosted his mark significantly.

The skating was generally uninspiring in the men’s free skate, with Chan getting the highest score, followed by Russian Mikhail Kolyada, who received a score of 173.57. American Adam Rippon had the third-highest mark with 172.98.

The Canadians have 55 points, seven ahead of the Russians, heading into the women’s free skate.

The U.S is third with 44, two ahead of Italy.

Rippon, replacing U.S. champion Nathan Chen, had a fluid and steady routine, but his score was hurt by not hitting a quad.

The women’s and ice dance free skates are still to come.


9:30 a.m.

The final events of the team figure skating competition are set to get underway at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Canada is ahead going into Monday morning’s events, followed by the Russians. The U.S. is in third but just a point ahead of Italy.

The Canadians have 45 points, six ahead of the Russians, heading into the men’s, women’s and ice dance free skate programs. The U.S. has 35 points.

Patrick Chan, Gabrielle Daleman and ice dance dynamos Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will skate for Canada.

Alina Zagitova will handle the free skate for the Russians, while Mikhail Kolyada tries to rebound from his dismal short program. Dmitri Soloviev and Ekaterina Bobrova will do the ice dance.

The U.S. team is making two substitutions with Mirai Nagasu in for Bradie Tennell and Adam Rippon replacing Nathan Chen. Alex and Maia Shibutani will be back for the dance.


9:15 a.m.

The women’s giant slalom featuring Mikaela Shiffrin has been rescheduled for Thursday, the same day as the men’s downhill at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The first two events on the Alpine skiing schedule were postponed because of strong wind. Both will be contested Thursday but on different hills. The women will compete at the Yongpyong Alpine Center used for technical races, and the men about 30 miles (50 kilometers) away at the Jeongseon Alpine Center used for speed races.

The women’s giant slalom, which was supposed to be Shiffrin’s debut at these Winter Games, was called off about three hours before it was supposed to begin Monday. The same happened with the men’s downhill on Sunday.

Now Shiffrin’s first race in South Korea will be Wednesday in the slalom, where she is the defending Olympic champion.


More AP Olympic coverage:

This post originally appeared on Townhall


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