The isolated, rugged mountain town of Pyeongchang, one of the poorest, coldest and most disgruntled parts of an otherwise prosperous South Korea, will be a global player for two weeks of winter sports, Olympic spectacle and, just maybe, a bit of inter-Korean reconciliation.There will be plenty of sporting drama for both die-hard snow and ice junkies and the once-every-four-years enthusiast.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWill the Russians who aren’t Russians — the 168 who have been invited as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” competing in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag — bring home gold? Will Patrick Chan of Canada hit his quad jumps and claim figure skating glory?Can reigning men’s gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan overcome injury and defend his title against Chan? Will the past and present star of American skiing, Lindsey Vonn, be surpassed by the likely future of the sport, Mikaela Shiffrin? 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting But the athletic aspect of these games has been overshadowed in the buildup to the opening ceremony by a frenzied, increasingly momentous fire-hose spray of political developments. The rival Koreas, flirting with war just weeks ago, are suddenly making overtures toward the no-longer-quite-so-absurd notion of cooperation.North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister, making an unprecedented visit to South Korean soil, will now likely attend the same opening ceremony as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who’s vowing toughest-ever sanctions on the North. Could they meet? That and other theories have engulfed South Korean media.Pyeongchang was not supposed to share the spotlight with Pyongyang. This was not supposed to be, as some in Seoul grumble, the “Pyongyang Games,” a play on the North Korean capital’s phonetic similarity to Pyeongchang.After two failed Olympic bids that emphasized the high-sounding notion that the games could help make peace with North Korea, Pyeongchang finally sold its successful try in 2011 on the decidedly capitalistic goal of boosting winter sports tourism in Asia.But North Korea has a habit of not letting itself be ignored when it comes to its southern rival.ADVERTISEMENT Its agents blew up a South Korean airliner ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in an attempt to dissuade visitors; then it boycotted its rival’s Olympic debut on the world stage. A few years later, the discovery of the huge progress Pyongyang had been surreptitiously making on its nuclear programs plunged the Korean Peninsula into crisis. It has only deepened over the years as the North closes in on the ability to field an arsenal of nukes that can hit U.S. cities.And so, with a little help from a liberal South Korean president eager to engage Pyongyang, the 2018 Pyeongchang Games open.They do so with as much focus on the North, which has zero real medal contenders, as the South, which in the three decades since its last Olympics has built a solid winter program as it went from economic backwater and military dictatorship to Asia’s fourth-biggest economy and a bulwark of liberal democracy.Could Pyeongchang’s initial pitch — that it could contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula — actually become reality? The opening ceremony will offer at least some hints about that, and maybe more. What’s certain is that these Games, more so than any in recent memory, are about far more than sports. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:35U.S. urges Japan, South Korea to share intel00:58US defense chief meets South Korean counterpart01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding AFP official booed out of forum Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH FILE – In this Feb. 4, 2018, file photo, a human figure appears to be climbing an Olympic Cauldron at the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza as preparations continue for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. After two failed bids, hundreds of millions of dollars and a nagging national debate about whether it’s all even worth it, the Olympics will finally open Friday, Feb. 9, in a ceremony meant to showcase South Korea’s rise from dictatorship, poverty and war to one of Asia’s leading powers. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The world starts watching now. At least, when it comes to sports.After two failed bids, billions of dollars in preparation and a nagging national debate about whether it’s all worth it, the Winter Olympics open Friday in Pyeongchang with a gala ceremony meant to showcase South Korea’s rise from poverty and war into one of Asia’s most modern nations.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trail Blazers hold off the Hornets in overtime View comments
View comments Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Mary Ann Mendrez, who had 21 points against the Golden Tigresses, said Roque just let them have fun on the court.READ: Roque says Vicente left UE for ‘personal reasons’“Coach Roque just told us that we should always have fun, we shouldn’t let go of the enjoyment when we play,” said Mendrez in Filipino. “Because when you’re not having fun, you’ll just end up working miserably.”For libero Kath Arado, her dreams of changing the public’s perception of UE is slowly coming into fruition.“It started in the first game, I really wanted to change the peoples’ perception of UE,” said Arado in Filipino. “I’m really speechless right now, and with the help of the coaches and my teammates, we’re slowly changing our image.” Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It took Vicente 47 games to get to two wins but Roque, who is also UE’s athletic director, has steered the Lady Warriors on a journey that uses happiness and camaraderie as its fuel.The visibly jolly Lady Warriors defeated University of Santo Tomas, 25-23, 18-25, 28-26, 26-24, in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: UAAP Volleyball: UE pulls off another stunner, keeps UST skiddingRoque said that he fully embraced the Lady Warriors’ flaws when he took over the team back in late February and instilled a positive mindset on a squad that lost five straight games before he sat at the bench. Read Next “I noticed that they were scared of committing mistakes, and if you’re scared of committing those mistakes you’ll end up playing worse,” said Roque in Filipino.“Nobody’s perfect, and it’s normal to commit mistakes. What’s important is to get back up when you did something wrong and I saw that they’re doing that. That’s why I’m very happy, I love these ladies.”READ: UE upsets Adamson for 1st win Roque’s first order of business with the Lady Warriors was have them watch game tapes, something Vicente didn’t do.This off court study sessions gave another avenue for the Lady Warriors to build the camaraderie they needed to win their first string of two games since 2012.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Ginebra seals semis spot, ousts Rain or Shine MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus In just his third game as University of the East’s interim head coach, Rod Roque has already matched the win total of his predecessor Francis Vicente.ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next “Our big question mark is if Greg would play,” said Cone.“If we play Friday, I would say he won’t play. Given another day or two, he may play. But we do expect him to be back sometime in the series. We just hope that we’re still in the series by the time he’s available.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSlaughter sat out both playoff games against Rain or Shine due to a sprained ankle, but Cone acknowledged that he would need all of his weapons against a star-studded squad like San Miguel.“That’s a big thing for us, whether Greg can play and help us equalize against San Miguel,” said Cone. Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Both teams battled in the last Philippine Cup Finals with the Beermen emerging victorious to claim their third straight all-Filipino title.The winner of this series goes on to play the winner of the other semifinals, which features Magnolia taking on NLEX.The Road Warriors swept the Alaska Aces, 2-0, during their quarterfinal showdown after a tense 87-83 victory in Game 2 Wednesday night, thus claiming their first Final Four stint in franchise history. Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Without Slaughter, the Gin Kings absorbed a 1-4 series loss—a defeat that still lingers for Ginebra veteran LA Tenorio.“Of course, we’re motivated by payback,” said Tenorio. “Last season, we didnt have Greg. But we came all the way from No. 7, so we just ran our of steam to be honest.”The Beermen reached the semifinals by disposing of TNT KaTropa, 106-93, in the quarterfinals with Fajardo shooting 35 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.“I think we have enough talent also, enough people also to contain June Mar and their shooters and their bigs, and also, their guards. We’ll see,” Tenorio said.“It’s gonna be tough for us, definitely. But again, we will fight. We have to really be focused on the game plan especially against June Mar. Really June Mar is playing [on] a different level now.”ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Bayron fends off Lascuña charge, leads by 2 strokes LATEST STORIES Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Greg Slaughter Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWith its “equalizer” still doubtful, Barangay Ginebra takes on the challenge of toppling the “monster” whose shadow has loomed large over the PBA Philippine Cup in the past three seasons, starting Friday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.As if beating the three-time defending champion San Miguel Beermen over a seven game series is not tough enough, Gin Kings coach Tim Cone, a winner of 22 PBA titles, has to make his team cope with the absence of prized big man Greg Slaughter in the early part of the matchup.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ View comments
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Meanwhile, movie theater tickets for the fighting spectacle of the year are being sold at $40 per adult in advance. A complete list of participating theaters can be found at www.FathomEvents.com .Fathom Events and Mayweather Promotions announced the partnership on Tuesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsMayweather is coming out of retirement for a boxing match against a UFC star who has never boxed professionally. View comments Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo UFC president Dana White, center, intervenes as boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor exchange words during a news conference at Staples Center Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in Los Angeles. The two are scheduled to fight in a boxing match in Las Vegas on Aug. 26. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Movie theaters around the U.S. will show the Aug. 26 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.The bout between the undefeated boxer and the Irish UFC champion will cost $99.95 on high-definition pay-per-view TV. Tickets for the fight at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena will range from $500 to $10,000 — and there aren’t many $500 seats.ADVERTISEMENT Warriors’ Draymond Green sued over alleged assault by couple Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes
Fireworks light up the Jawaharlal Nehry Stadium at the CWG opening ceremony on Sunday evening.Putting behind months of controversies, New Delhi put together a spectacular opening ceremony for the 19th Commonwealth Games, which received the approval of all watching.The show of colour, light, music and dance at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium left the 65,000-plus present there screaming in delight as the 12-day sporting extravaganza kicked off with participating teams from 71 members of the Commonwealth.Prince Charles, filling in for Queen Elizabeth II, declared the Games open after which President Pratibha Patil, making a short speech, said, “Let the Games begin!”AR Rahman capped the evening with his CWG anthem, Jeeyo Utho Badho, followed by Jai Ho, which the crowd gladly sung along.Among those attending the grand opening were Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi, and Patil’s husband Devi Singh Shekhawat.Manmohan said: “Welcome to India, welcome to these Games. It is a proud moment for the country. We invite all our guests to enjoy our hospitality.”CWG chief Michael Fennell, who was critical of the Games preparations, acknowledged the big, through belated, turnaround. “Congratulations to the Organising Committee. Let us join hands in celebrating the glorious opening ceremony,” he said.Abhinav Bindra leads the Indian contingent at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.The Delhi Games organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi was initially welcomed by the large crowd here, but later booed by it. advertisement”India is ready to host the games,” Kalmadi said, reading out from a prepared speech, sounding confident and not a man whose career in sports administration nearly came to an end because of the problems leading up to this day.Kalmadi also mentioned AB Vajpayee in his speech as he brought the Games to India. At the parade of the participating contingents, the Pakistan team received loud cheers. But the roof was brought down the moment ace marksman and Olympic hero Abhinav Bindra led the Indian contingent on to the park.Patil, Manmohan and Sonia all stood up to applaud the Indian team, which aims to finish with a best ever CWG rank of No. 2.The day’s festivities were marred a little by official broadcaster Doordarshan’s deferred live coverage of the event.Rahman’s act was broadcast only after 10.30 pm, nearly an hour after the opening ceremony had already concluded.
The Indian equestrian team has not made it to Guangzhou for the Asian Games and nobody in the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) is willing to comment as to who is responsible for this mess.As Mail Today has been reporting since last month, the EFI never followed proper quarantine protocol, as a result of which two horses were removed. The first belonged to Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Pattu and the second to Sunil Kumar.The EFI’s version was that Pattu’s horse was sick and Sunil’s horse tested positive for dope. After that, it was all chaos as the whole selection process came under scrutiny. However, with the EFI sticking to their claim that they had a transparent selection process and all the remaining horses were safe in quarantine, they managed to get the clearance from the Indian Olympic Association and the sports ministry for the Asian Games.On Friday, it came to light that the dressage and three-day eventing teams were still stuck in India. On Wednesday, the horses were taken to the Bangalore airport from the quarantine stable. However, the Chinese authorities informed the EFI that as it was “too late” for the dressage horses to enter Guangzhou, they leave the horses behind. Apparently, the message was that only eventing horses would be allowed to fly to Guangzhou. Given the heartburn and jealousy among the riders, an unofficial decision was taken not to send any team to the Asian Games.While the EFI can now blame the Chinese authorities for this mess, the truth is the Chinese veterinary doctors who had come to India were never going to clear the horses that easily. As Mail Today had written time and again, the quarantine and blood testing procedures on the horses were under the Chinese scanner. Apparently, the Chinese vets were not willing to go by results of blood tests ostensibly conducted at a lab in Hissar. The latest one hears is that the riders in India have been told not to talk to the media.advertisementIt is now up to the sports ministry to investigate how this mess happened. As the EFI had made statements that “all is well” why were horses not allowed to fly out of Bangalore on three occasions within a week? People in the equestrian fraternity in India say that the EFI is solely responsible for the situation. In the past, riders and horses would reach the host city almost a fortnight in advance.It is learnt that Kapilesh Bhate, a show jumping rider, will be the sole Indian representative in Guangzhou. Sources say he will be allowed to compete as his horse was in quarantine in Germany. One should not be surprised if EFI secretary SS Ahlawat makes it to Guangzhou as the manager, even if only one rider ends up representing India at the Asian Games! For the record, in the last edition of the Asian Games, India won a team bronze in the threeday event.
The West Indies women thrashed hosts India by nine wickets with 13.1 overs to spare in the first ODI at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s BKC ground in Mumbai on Monday.West Indies vice-captain and off spinner Anisa Mohammed grabbed four out of the top six Indian wickets to help skittle out the hosts for a paltry 161.The target was easily achieved by the visitors who rode on opener Stefanie Taylor’s unbeaten 85 in 122 balls.One- down Shanel Daley remained unconquered with 44 off 86 balls and also added 137 runs for the unfinished second wicket with Stefanie after the cheap dismissal of the other opener, Juliana Nero, who fell to Indian skipper Jhulan Goswami.Earlier, opting to bat first, the home team stumbled against Anisa and medium pacer Deandra Dottin to be reduced to 129 for 7 before the slog phase and could not post a good score which could have troubled the visitors.The second and third matches of the best-of-five series are to be held at Vadodara on January 13 and 15 followed by the last two ties at Rajkot on the 18th and 19th. The visitors are also slated to take on the home team in a best-of-three T20 series with all matches scheduled at Ahmedabad from 22nd to 24th January.Brief Scores: India 161 all out in 49.3 overs ( Poonam Raut 33, Harmanpreet Kaur 32; Anisa Mohammed 4 for 27) lost to West Indies 162 for 1 in 36.5 overs ( Stefanie Taylor not out 85, Shanel Daley not out 44)With PTI inputs
Voting rites: Floral tributes at Paul Wellstone’s Washington officeThe voice that was raised in protest in the US Senate hearing on the George W. Bush Administration’s resolution to go to war with Iraq is now silenced.Democrat Paul Wellstone, the dissenter, his wife Sheila, their daughter Marcia Markuson and five others,Voting rites: Floral tributes at Paul Wellstone’s Washington officeThe voice that was raised in protest in the US Senate hearing on the George W. Bush Administration’s resolution to go to war with Iraq is now silenced.Democrat Paul Wellstone, the dissenter, his wife Sheila, their daughter Marcia Markuson and five others died tragically in an airplane crash on October 22.It was on a sombre note that some 20,000 people packed into two sports stadiums on the University of Minnesota campus to remember Wellstone. The service was at once a sad memorial for close friends and a spirited political rally for Democrats desperate to retain control of the Senate.Former President Bill Clinton, former vice-president Al Gore, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, actor Michael J. Fox and at least half the Senate attended.The family asked Vice-President Dick Cheney to stay away, ostensibly because they did not want the event to be overwhelmed by the security men and the protesters that follow him.But it is believed that the Democrats were uncomfortable at the prospect of Cheney, who urged Republican Norm Coleman into the race against Wellstone, benefiting from the news coverage of the service.According to a Democratic Senate aide, the service was chronicled by at least 110 newspaper reporters, 70 radio stations, 22 photographers and 34 television crews. Former vice-president Walter F. Mondale is slated to replace Wellstone on the forthcoming ballot.The crash of the campaign plane in which Wellstone was flying came a few days after it became evident that Wellstone’s vote against the resolution in the Senate pushed him ahead of his Republican challenger by 10 percentage points.advertisementTwo years ago, Governor Mel Carnahan of Missouri had also died in another campaign plane crash and was eulogised by then President Clinton in a similar service. Incidentally, Bush is expected to campaign in Minnesota with Coleman a couple of days before the ballot.Wellstone, who was the chairman of Senate Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, also had a soft corner for the subcontinent.Espousing peace in the subcontinent, he stressed the need to establish a framework for reconciliation between India and Pakistan and expressed concern that China’s nuclear strategic arsenal build-up would fuel the nuclear arms race in the subcontinent.
Supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell will reportedly take to a specially-designed runway at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics next month.The beauties, along with Mick Jagger’s daughter Georgia May and Stella Tennant, will strut their stuff on the stage for the show-stopping spectacle at Olympic Park on August 12, reported Contactmusic.An unconfirmed leaked set list also suggests funnyman Russell Brand will be part of the celebration, singing Pretty Vacant as well as the Beatles’ I Am The Walrus.Rock band The Who is scheduled to close the show, while artists including Jessie J, Madness, The Pet Shop Boys, Annie Lennox and Take That are also slated to perform.”He was very proud of his father and proud to be his father’s son,” Braustein said.