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Winter Olympics: What to watch/stream

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The XXIII Olympiad officially opens in PyeongChang. For those who missed the live stream on NBCOlympics.com in the morning’s early hours, NBC will be airing its primetime coverage of the Opening Ceremony tonight. The Opening Ceremony will be aired on 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST, anchored by co-hosts Mike Tirico and Katie Couric.

Erin Hamlin will be leading the Team USA contingent, it was announced on Wednesday. Hamlin became the first U.S. Olympian to win an Olympic singles luge medal, claiming the bronze in the 2014 Sochi Games. The United States has sent 244 athletes to PyeongChang, its largest-ever contingent for the Olympics.

North and South Korea will be marching together under one flag. Missing from this flag will be the South Korean Taeguk (the iconic red and blue sphere in the middle), and North Korea’s red, white and blue. Instead, a blue silhouette of the Korean peninsula will be displayed on a white background.

Opening Ceremony

In addition to its live television coverage, NBC will be airing its primetime show on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC  Sports app. Online and app coverage will also feature trivia about the countries and athletes, as well as real-time fact cards as the Ceremony unfolds.

Stream Here 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

Snowboarding

In addition to the Opening Ceremony, the snowboarding competition will be kicking off as the men’s slopestyle qualifying rounds begin. Canada’s Max Parrot and Mark McMorris will be two of the biggest stars to watch. The multiple-times X Games medalists are entering the slopestyle with exceptionally high standards. Parrot will be hoping to improve upon his fifth place finish in Sochi to land on the podium, while McMorris will be looking to trade his 2014 bronze medal in for a 2018 gold.

Live Stream Here 8:00p.m. EST / 5:00p.m. PST

Curling

After a comfortable victory over Team OAR in the opening round, Matt and Becca Hamilton have been struggling in the mixed doubles competition. The sibling duo have dropped three straight draws since that opening victory, including a humbling 1-9 defeat versus South Korea. The Hamiltons have a chance to end their skid as they take on fellow strugglers China.

CHN vs. USA Live Stream Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

NOR vs. FIN Live Stream Here 7:05p.m. EST / 4:05p.m. PST

CAN vs. SUI Live Stream Here 7:05p.m. EST / PST

KOR vs. OAR Live Stream Here  7:05p.m. EST / PST

Alpine Skiing

The men’s downhill training sessions continue before the competition officially starts on Sunday, Feb. 11.

Live Stream Here 9:00p.m. EST / 6:00p.m. PST

U.S. beats Japan in Olympic baseball qualifier, may still need help

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The U.S. handed Japan its first loss in the Premier12 global Olympic baseball qualifier, at the Tokyo Dome no less, but now the Americans must root for the host nation.

The Americans, with a roster mostly of Double-A and Triple-A players, won 4-3 over a Japanese team that includes some of its domestic league’s biggest stars like two-time Central League MVP Yoshihiro Maru and veteran shortstop Hayato Sakamoto.

Outfielder Jo Adell, MLB Pipeline’s top-ranked prospect on the U.S. team, starred by reaching base four times with a home run.

Japan is already qualified for baseball’s Olympic return as the host nation.

The U.S., meanwhile, has a sense of urgency at Premier12, the first of a possible three tournaments in which it could clinch an Olympic spot.

At Premier12, the top-ranked nation from North and South America qualifies for the Olympics. The tournament is at the super-round stage of the final six teams, and two are from the Americas: the U.S. and Mexico.

The top four nations after each has played five games advance to gold- and bronze-medal games.

Mexico already beat the U.S. and ran its super-round record to 3-0 on Tuesday, clinching a spot in the medal round.

The U.S. moved to 1-2 in the super round on Tuesday and must at least get into the same medal-round game as Mexico to keep its hope of finishing as the top team from the Americas.

Japan could help, since it plays Mexico on Wednesday. If Mexico beats Japan, the Mexicans clinch a spot in the gold-medal game, which would put more pressure on the U.S. to win its last two games (vs. Australia on Wednesday and Chinese Taipei on Friday). Even then, South Korea would get into the gold-medal game if it wins out.

If the U.S. is not the top team from the Americas at Premier12, it can still earn an Olympic berth in March. But then it faces trying to come up with a roster at the end of MLB’s spring training rather than during the offseason. MLB teams may be less inclined to release minor leaguers.

“That’ll be a delicate dance,” U.S. general manager Eric Campbell said before Premier12.

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College gymnast dies after practice accident

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — An accomplished gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University has died following a serious spinal cord injury suffered in a training accident.

Melanie Coleman, 20, of Milford, Connecticut, was training Friday at New Era Gymnastics in Hamden when she was injured, said her mother, Susan Coleman.

She was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital and died Sunday.

Coleman was a former All State gymnast at Jonathan Law High School in Milford and was captain of the school’s gymnastics team. She was named a Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association Scholastic All-American this year.

Her former club coach, Tom Alberti, said she attained a level 10, the highest level in the USA Junior Olympics Program.

She was a junior studying nursing, following in the footsteps of her two older sisters, her mother said.

“She’s from a very large, loving family; there’s seven of us, we were the Coleman seven,” Susan Coleman said. “We spent every day together for the past 20 years.”

She volunteered at the gym where her accident occurred.

Her coaches and professors described her as a special young woman who excelled in both the classroom and gym, college President Joe Berolino said in a written statement.

“Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family and friends on this tragic loss,” he said.

People the family has met by traveling to gymnastics events around the country are giving support that is “holding us up,” Coleman’s mother said.

She described her children, which also include two sons older than Melanie, as “inseparable.”

“We’re going to leave an empty space in our photos for her” from now on, Susan Coleman said.