The Washington Post
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.
Are you ready for another thrilling fight over network neutrality? It's coming.
Remember when we used to think that dietary fat was bad? We believed that "fat makes you fat," but now know that obesity is more complex than just overeating a single nutrient. It's amazing how much research now exists on the benefits of fat. It can help quell inflammation, assist with weight control and protect against heart disease, diabetes and cognitive decline.