The Washington Post
Don't worry: Technology may come and go, but some things never change. In the not-so-distant future, cars will drive themselves and men may become obsolete (sorry, guys), but home will always be home. It'll just be a heck of a lot smarter.
GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Goaltender Genevieve Lacasse was not visible amid the mess of American and Canadians around her, wrestling first for the puck, which the Americans had pushed to within inches of tying the game, then with each other, when the horn rang and the Canadians had won. In a blur of limbs and shoves, two players went to the ground. Referees separated the others. That — the physical, tense, routine chaos through which Canada held on to a 2-1 preliminary-round victory Thursday, Feb. 15 — is USA-Canada in a nutshell.
Q: What is curling? Curling is contested on ice - called a sheet - with targets at either end, referred to as the house. The house is made up of 12-, 8- and 4-foot rings and the center, called a button. Teams take turns sliding a large granite stone, sometimes called a rock, from one end of the sheet toward the house at the other end. A curler can control the amount a rock will turn, or curl, by applying rotation to the handle.
Q: What is figure skating? A: Arguably the marque sport at the Winter Olympics, figure skating needs little introduction. With grace, grit and often controversy, athletes skate, jump and spin into millions of homes around the world.
DAEGWALLYEONG, South Korea — With artful simplicity and an earnest message, the opening ceremony delivered on its intent to make peace the star Friday night. It was aspirational, dreamy, idyllic. Oh, to live in the reimagined world that executive creative director Song Seung-whan created for five children to travel through time and experience.
Q: What is cross-country skiing? A: Everyone recognizes traditional cross-country skiing when they see it. In the Olympics, the races are much faster, of course, and skiers use different techniques depending on the event. Classic skiing requires the skis to remain parallel. Skiers can use both poles at the same time, or alternate poles. Classic courses are designed with machine-groomed tracks.
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Jessie Diggins is hard to believe, so bubbly it feels forced, so energetic it seems unsustainable. People ask if she's fake. She gets that a lot. No one in any walk of life — let alone an elite Olympic athlete in a sport that requires such grueling training for such little glory — can emanate that kind of positivity all the time. Right? But Diggins, a 26-year-old who is third in the World Cup standings and a legitimate Olympic medal contender, isn't faking her demeanor. She is working at it, and always has been.
More than 90 countries will send roughly 2,900 athletes to compete in the PyeongChang Olympics. There are 102 events - most in Olympic history - including four making their debuts: big air snowboarding, mass start speedskating, mixed doubles curling and a mixed team event in Alpine skiing. Two-hundred forty-three athletes will represent the United States. There are 135 men and 108 women, the closest the team has come to parity at the Winter Games.
Q: When do the Games begin? A: Competition gets underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Thursday, Feb. 8, but the official start is Friday, with the opening ceremony. In the United States, the first event actually begins at 6:05 p.m. Central time Wednesday, Feb. 7. Q: Who participates? A: More than 90 countries will send roughly 2,900 athletes to compete in 15 disciplines. The program includes a record 102 events: 49 for men, 44 for women, seven mixed gender and two "open" (men and women compete against each other).
In the government shutdown crisis that Congress moved to resolve on Monday, or at least put on pause, there were so-called leaders who saw an opportunity to score cheap political points. Others went AWOL from their duty to help end the standoff. And then there were some, Republican and Democrat alike, who tried to make government work. Among the unfortunate new lows of the episode: Vice President Mike Pence using soldiers as political props, attacking Democrats as he spoke to U.S. troops in the Middle East.