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PyeongChang Olympic venues (photos)

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The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games are split into two clusters — a coastal cluster of arenas for skating and curling and a mountain cluster for skiing and sliding.

Many venues have already hosted competitions in the form of Olympic test events. More are being broken in this winter.

They’ll all be in regular use starting Feb. 8, 2018, when competition starts at the Winter Olympics.

For more on the Olympic venues, check out this video tour published by PyeongChang organizers in December.

PYEONGCHANG 2018
Storylines | 18 US Stars | 18 Global Stars | Strange Olympic Hopefuls | Key events
Oldest US Olympian? | Youngest US Olympian? | Venue Photo Gallery | North Korea

Images via Getty and PyeongChang 2018:

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PyeongChang Olympic Village
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PyeongChang Olympic Stadium (Opening/Closing Ceremonies)
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Gangneung Olympic Park
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Gangneung Ice Arena (Figure Skating/Short Track)
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Gangneung Hockey Center
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Gangneung Oval (Speed Skating)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - NOVEMBER 09: A general view of the Gangneung Curling Centre located in the Gangneung Coastal Cluster ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on November 9, 2016 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Gangneung Curling Center
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Kwandong Hockey Center
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Jeongseon Alpine Center (Downhill, Super-G, Super Combined)
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Bokwang Snow Park (Freestyle Skiing/Snowboard)
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: The Alpensia Resort is seen from above on February 10, 2015 in the mountain cluster of Pyeongchang, South Korea. The region, located in the northwest Taebaek Mountains of Korea, is preparing to host the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympics from February 9th to February 25th of 2018. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Alpensia Resort
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Alpensia Sliding Center (Bobsled, Luge, Skeleton)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 2: The general view of Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre, venue for the Cross County Skiing and Nordic Combined in Alpensia Resort Park ahead of PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 2, 2017 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Alpensia Cross-Country Center
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - DECEMBER 16: Alpensia Biathlon Centre is seen on December 16, 2016 in PyeongChang, South Korea. (Photo by Woohae Cho/Getty Images)
Alpensia Biathlon Center
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Alpensia Ski Jumping Center
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Yongpyong Alpine Center (Giant Slalom, Slalom)

Yuzuru Hanyu opens Olympic season with record score

Yuzuru Hanyu
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A sore knee didn’t hold Yuzuru Hanyu back. A record score to open his Olympic season.

The Olympic and world champion from Japan hit a pair of quadruple jumps in his short program at the Autumn Classic, a lower-level event in Montreal.

He was rewarded with 112.72 points, the highest short program score recorded under the 13-year-old judging system. Video is here.

It looked like a home competition for Hanyu.

Upon finishing, he bowed toward one set of bleachers (maybe a dozen rows) at the Sportsplexe Pierrefonds. More than two dozen Japanese flags made it hard to see most of the faces.

He bettered Javier Fernández, a two-time world champion and training partner, by 11.52 points. Fernández also landed two quadruple jumps to tally 101.2.

Full scores will be here upon the conclusion of the short program. The free skate is Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. A live stream is here.

Hanyu now owns the three highest short program scores under the 13-year-old system. The other two were set in the 2015-16 season.

Showdowns like Hanyu-Fernández are usually reserved for, at the earliest, the Grand Prix series in late October and November.

Hanyu and Fernández are very familiar with each other, having shared a coach in Canadian Brian Orser, the 1988 Olympic silver medalist, since 2012. They train in Toronto.

In that time, Hanyu became the first Japanese man to win an Olympic title (and the second teen from any nation to do it). He followed it up with world titles later in 2014 and this year.

Fernández achieved unfathomable success for a Spanish skater — world titles in 2015 and 2016, overtaking Hanyu in the free skate both times.

In PyeongChang, Hanyu can become the first man to repeat as Olympic champion since Dick Button in 1952. Fernández can become the third Spaniard to earn a Winter Olympic medal of any color in any sport, and the first since 1992.

The figure skating season continues next week with Nebelhorn Trophy in Germany, the final Olympic qualifying competition. North Korea could clinch its first spots in any sport for the Olympics in the pairs event.

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USOC letter assures Olympians about South Korea security

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The U.S. Olympic Committee’s security chief sent a letter to potential Winter Olympians saying there are no indications that recent developments between the U.S. and North Korea have compromised security in South Korea.

The letter, obtained by The Associated Press shortly after it was sent Friday, makes no suggestion that the U.S. is considering skipping the PyeongChang Winter Games for security reasons.

But Chief Security Officer Nicole Deal does write that provocations that have been volleyed between the United States and North Korea are likely to persist for the foreseeable future, and “should not be dismissed as insignificant nor feared as precursors of an inevitable conflict.”

The letter comes at the end of a week in which France’s sports minister suggested the country’s athletes would stay home if security could not be guaranteed.

The International Olympic Committee, trying to calm concerns, reiterated that in conversations with high-level officials in China and South Korea, none have expressed doubt about the Winter Games proceeding as scheduled, next February.

The USOC also sent out a public statement Friday from CEO Scott Blackmun.

“We will continue to work with our State Department and local organizers to ensure that our athletes, and our entire delegation, are safe,” he said.

The letter, sent to athletes, national governing bodies and other Olympic leaders in the United States, said the USOC’s security division is operating as “business as usual for our security planning and preparations.”

Deal writes that the USOC is reviewing crisis management plans that address a range of potential scenarios “to ensure our athletes, and our entire delegation, are safe.”

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