News Journal’s daily Olympics coverage page starts Thursday

By Tom Barr -

The Wilmington News Journal will feature a daily Winter Olympics page in our Sports section beginning Thursday, Feb. 8 and continuing each publication day through the Winter Games.

The Winter Olympics begins with the opening ceremonies this Friday in PyeongChang, South Korea.

This marks the first time the continent has hosted the Winter Games in 20 years, and the third time overall. Previous Winter Games were held in 1972 in Sapporo, Japan, and in 1998 in Nagano, Japan.

South Korea also hosted the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.

Who to watch

The American team of 243 athletes will feature some veterans as well as new generation of stars, according to Team USA.

Among the next-gen stars is “halfpipe snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim, a first-generation Korean American who still has family in South Korea and at age 17 is favored to win the gold medal. On the men’s side, teenagers Chris Corning and Red Gerard are among the top snowboarding contenders.

“The U.S. Olympic Team features three five-time Olympians in halfpipe snowboarder Kelly Clark, long track speedskater Shani Davis and cross-country skier Kikkan Randall. Clark will go for her fourth Olympic medal and Davis for his fifth, while Randall is aiming to become the first U.S. woman to medal in her sport.

“Meanwhile, five Americans are coming back to try to defend their gold medals from 2014. They are slopestyle snowboarder Jamie Anderson, halfpipe skiers Maddie Bowman and David Wise, and alpine skiers Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin.

“The U.S. women’s ice hockey team is coming off a fourth world title in a row this past March and will try to win its first Olympic gold medal since that first one in Nagano.“

By Tom Barr