On Monday, NBC said that Joshua Cooper Ramo, a commentator whose remarks about Japan and Korea during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics had offended Koreans, "has completed his responsibilities for NBC in Pyeongchang, and will have no further role on our air." NBC had "apologized quickly both in writing and on television" for Ramo's remark, the network said in a statement, and "we're very gratified that [the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee] has accepted that apology."
NBC had hired Ramo, a co-CEO of Kissinger Associates and a former journalist at Time, to provide cultural and geopolitical analysis during the Pyeongchang Olympics, as he had during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. While noting the arrival of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the opening ceremony, Ramo said on air that "every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological, and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation." Japan's colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945 has left long-lasting scars on Japanese-Korean relations, and Koreans do not believe Japan deserves credit for South Korea's postwar transformation. Peter Weber
While in South Korea, Kim was subject to intense scrutiny, her pleasant personal manner presenting a marked contrast to her family's brutally dictatorial regime. Kim is the director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of her brother's government, and some Western media outlets came under fire for what critics deemed too-favorable coverage of the "political princess":
Guys, be more like BuzzFeed here. pic.twitter.com/rmS5er9hR4
— Rory Cooper (@rorycooper) February 11, 2018
Kim Yo Jong is the first member of the Kim family to visit South Korea since her grandfather took power in North Korea. She was accompanied by North Korean officials and invited the South Korean president to visit Pyongyang for direct talks. Bonnie Kristian
Colorado snowboarder Red Gerard took home the first gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics on Saturday in the men's snowboard slopestyle competition.
At just 17, Gerard is among the youngest competitors at this year's Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. His winning run included a backside triple cork 1440-degree spin on the final jump and made use of course elements other competitors did not incorporate.
"If we're not in jail," said Red's brother Brendon Gerard of his family's plan to celebrate the victory, "then something didn't go right." Watch Red's winning run below. Bonnie Kristian
— GO! Snowboard Videos (@gosnowboardvids) February 11, 2018
Organizers of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, confirmed Sunday they were subject to a cyberattack during Friday's opening ceremony. The wifi and television in the Games facilities stopped working for about 12 hours, as did the official website. All were restored to normal by Saturday morning local time.
"We are not going to comment on the issue. It is one we are dealing with. We are making sure our systems are secure, and they are secure," said International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative Mark Adams, who indicated he did not know the source of the attack and would not share it if he did, because "best international practice says that you don't talk about an attack."
The Guardian reports Russia is rumored to be responsible. The official Russian team is banned from the Olympics this year after a major doping investigation, though some Russian athletes have been permitted to compete under a neutral flag. Bonnie Kristian
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang for direct negotiations, Seoul said Saturday. This would be the first meeting between Korean leaders in more than a decade, and it marks a significant, if at present mostly symbolic, step toward rapprochement on the divided peninsula.
The invitation to meet "at an early date" was personally extended by Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, over lunch with Moon, who "practically accepted" and replied, "Let's create conditions to make it happen," South Korean officials reported. Kim Yo Jong is in South Korea for the Winter Olympics, hosted in Pyeongchang and featuring united Korean teams.
Vice President Mike Pence, who is also in Pyeongchang for the Games, told reporters Friday he is certain South Korea will stick to the United States' strategy for dealing with the Kim regime. "I am very confident, as President Trump is, that President Moon will continue to stand strongly with us in our extreme-pressure campaign," Pence said. "Make no mistake about it, the United States of America has viable military options to deal with a nuclear threat from North Korea but, that being said, we hope for a better path." Bonnie Kristian
The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium erupted on Friday when the unified Korean team was announced, marching out together under a single flag. At least one person, though, did not see cause to celebrate the occasion: Vice President Mike Pence.
Pence — who has been known to leave the building if he does not think the American flag is being properly respected — did not stand for any nation other than Team USA at the opening ceremony, The Associated Press reports.
— S. Adimbola (@Adimbola) February 9, 2018
Pence's presence at the Games is intended to send a stern message of American resolve to North Korea, even as others have celebrated the symbolism of a unified Korean Olympic team. "Many considered it an impossible dream to have an Olympics of peace, in which North Korea would participate and the two Koreas would form a joint team," said South Korean President Moon Jae-in earlier this week.
The vice president was not the only symbolic political figure in the building. Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, also attended the opening ceremony — the "first time a member of North Korea's ruling family has crossed the border since the 1950 Korean War," Al Jazeera writes.
Watch the North Korean delegation celebrate the entrance of Team Korea below. Jeva Lange
as the korean athletes were introduced, the north koreans here sang and waved their flags.
“we are one”
they had been silent the entire ceremony until this moment pic.twitter.com/c2UaddTZAx
— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) February 9, 2018
The first events of the 2018 Winter Olympics began on Thursday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but the Games officially kick off with the opening ceremony at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium at 8 p.m. on Friday in South Korea, 6 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast. Americans can watch them live on NBC or NBCOlympics.com.
It is below freezing in Pyeongchang, but Team USA, wearing outfits designed by Ralph Loren, "will remain warm thanks to innovative heat technology incorporated into the design of their parkas and bomber jackets, CNN reports. "The jackets went through rigorous testing to make sure they were safe before being worn by Olympians." The U.S. flag will be carried by Erin Hamlin, a bronze medalist in luge, while North and South Korean athletes will march in together under one flag, led by South Korean bobsledder Won Yun-jong. Ninety-one countries will be participating in the Pyeongchang Olympics, but Russian athletes will have to compete as Olympic Athletes from Russia, under the International Olympic Committee flag, after Russia was banned for violating anti-doping laws. The 2018 Games end with a closing ceremony on Feb. 25. Peter Weber
There are 102 events at the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but there are only three medals for each. Which country will take home the biggest haul of gold, silver, and bronze, though, is a toss up, judging by The Wall Street Journal's projections in each event: By their analysis, the United States and Norway could each win 36 medals.
Sports Info Solutions founder John Dewan used the Journal's data to run 1,000 simulations of the 2018 Olympics. The U.S. won or tied for most overall medals 447 times; Norway won or tied 438 times; Canada 145; and Germany 103. South Korea, which is hosting the games, is expected to walk away with 13 medals overall, including in short-track and long-track speed skating.
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) February 5, 2018
While the United States is one of the most diverse sporting nations, expected to take home medals in 80 percent of the 15 sports categories, Norway rakes in its medals by dominating cross-country skiing. "In Sochi, [Norway] won 21 of its 26 medals in just three sports, all of which employ cross-country skiing: biathlon, Nordic combined — a sport that blends cross-country skiing and ski jumping — and cross-country skiing by itself," The Wall Street Journal writes. This year, Norway is expected to win 23 medals in cross-country skiing sports, plus snag some in ski jumping and alpine skiing.
At the 2014 Sochi Olympics, host Russia won the most medals: 33. Thirteen of those medals were later stripped, and the nation has been banned from participating in 2018 due to the discovery of its doping program. Read more about the 2018 projections at The Wall Street Journal, and read predictions of who will win the gold, silver, and bronze at each event at Sports Illustrated. Jeva Lange