Pantsir-S short-range air defense system

Sochi Olympics’ security will include gun-missile vehicles

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First, there were warships. Now, the Sochi Olympics are adding six Pantsir-S short-range air defense systems (see photo) for extra security.

They were delivered to the Russian military ahead of schedule to ensure security during the Winter Games beginning Feb. 7, a senior defense ministry official said, according to RIA Novosti.

“We will do everything possible to accomplish the task of protecting the Russian airspace along the southern borders and to ensure security during the Winter Olympics,” said Maj. Gen. Viktor Gumenny, the commander of air defense troops of the Russian Air Force, according to RIA Novosti.

Here’s how Xinhua News Agency describes the Pantsir-S short-range air defense system:

The Pantsir-S is a combined gun-missile system featuring a wheeled vehicle mounting a fire-control radar and electro-optical sensor, two 30-mm cannons and up to 12 57E6 radio-command guided short-range surface-to-air missiles.

The system is designed to take on various targets flying at low level, including cruise missiles and aircraft, and can effectively engage targets at up to 20 km.

Photo: Icebreaker ship that will transport Olympic flame to North Pole

Canada names Olympic Opening Ceremony flag bearers

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Figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are Canada’s flag bearers for the PyeongChang Olympic Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9.

It’s the first time Canada will have multiple flag bearers at an Opening Ceremony.

Virtue and Moir won ice dance gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games and silver in Sochi in 2014.

After a two-year break, they went undefeated last season and won their third world championship.

They lost for the first time in their comeback at last month’s Grand Prix Final to French Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

Canada finished in the top three in the total medal standings at the last three Winter Olympics, including topping the gold-medal standings at the 2010 Vancouver Games with a record 14.

Recent Canadian Winter Olympic flag bearers
2014 Opening: Hayley Wickenheiser, Hockey
2014 Closing: Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, Bobsled
2010 Opening: Clara Hughes, Speed Skating
2010 Closing: Joannie Rochette, Figure Skating
2006 Opening: Danielle Goyette, Hockey
2006 Closing: Cindy Klassen, Speed Skating
2002 Opening: Catriona Le May Doan, Speed Skating
2002 Closing: Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, Figure Skating

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MORE: Canada’s Olympic figure skating team roster

Dale Earnhardt Jr. to cover Super Bowl LII, Olympics for NBC

Charles Sykes/Bravo
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. will cover Super Bowl LII and the PyeongChang Olympics as a contributor for NBC.

Earnhardt will spend the first weekend in February covering the outdoor activities in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl Pre-Game Show (NBC, Feb. 4).

Then he will travel to South Korea for the Winter Games.

From NBC Sports PR:

“Earnhardt will travel to PyeongChang, where he will explore the culture, people, and traditions in South Korea, and experience Olympic competitions first hand. Earnhardt will visit the speed skating venue at Gangneung Ice Arena, and through the lens of a racer will view the speed, close contact, and tight turns on the short track speed skating oval, which so closely mirror Earnhardt’s racing days and nights at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Following a recent invite on social media from his new friends on the U.S. bobsled team, including U.S. bobsled team pilot Nick Cunningham, Earnhardt will also travel to Alpensia Sliding Center, where he will test the true speed of the bobsled track and live out his post-retirement dream of riding in an Olympic bobsled.”

Earnhardt, 43, retired last year after 19 NASCAR seasons, which included Daytona 500 wins in 2004 and 2014.

He is now a NASCAR on NBC analyst.

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MORE: Breakdown of NBC Olympics record 2,400 hours of programming