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The early bird: Breaking down late night action in PyeongChang

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If you were asleep anytime between midnight and 6:00a.m. EST in the United States, then it’s fair to say that you probably missed a couple of events in PyeongChang. Here at OlympicTalk, we’ll take you through the evening’s stories and results.  Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won the first gold medal of the Olympic Games, as she cruised in the final four kilometers of the women’s skiathlon. But perhaps the bigger story of that race belongs to the silver medalist: Marit Bjorgen. By reaching the podium in the skiiathlon, the Norwegian has officially become the most successful female Winter Olympian.

Watch: Marit Bjorgen makes Olympic history

Snowboarding: USA’s Gerard emerges as serious contender

It was a big day for Norway and Canada as the two nations continue to dominate the sport. Norway and Canada combine for eight of 12 slopestyle finalists.

In Heat 1, it was all about X Games champion Markus Cleveland as he overcame a poor Heat 1 performance to land atop the standings. He was joined by compatriots Mons Roisland and Torgeir Bergrem.

Heat 2 provided some of the biggest names in the sport with Mark McMorris and Max Parrot of Canada leading the standings. Team USA’s Red Gerard took one step closer to being one of the youngest American Olympic medalists, finishing third. Meanwhile, Belgium’s Seppe Smits barely held onto the final qualification spot.

With the two giants of the sport competing, and with Gerard looking to steal their thunder, the slopestyle final is bound to be dramatic.

Watch snowboarding recaps and highlights

Ice Hockey: Sweden hold off Japan

The Japanese women’s ice hockey team proved to be an unexpected challenge for Sweden. This is only the third time that the island nation qualified for the Winter Olympics (1998, 2014), and only scored a single goal in Sochi. Known for being a doormat team for the other competitors, Japan seemed to turn the switch after conceding within the first three minutes of their opening game.

Rather than fold, the Japanese were able to withstand the pressure put on by the Swedes and were eventually able to squeak the puck past GK Sarah Grann late in the second period to draw level. The second intermission gave Sweden an opportunity to regroup following Japan’s sudden pressure, and managed to grab another early goal in the third period off a tight angle by Sarah Hjalmarsson.

NBCOlympics.com: Japan’s Women’s hockey team eyes next step 

Cross Country Skiing: Diggins in fifth as Kalla claims first PyeongChang gold

Norway’s Marit Bjoergen led the field in the first 7.5km of the skiathlon, pushing the pace up through the transition into the ski change. Swede Charlotte Kalla made a bursting move from the pack around the 12km mark, creating a nine second gap between her and the 10 time Olympic medalist. Kalla’s stunning move at the 12km mark proved to be the decisive break that was necessary to defeat the legendary Norwegian skiier, as Kalla won with a time of 40:44:9.

America’s Jessie Diggins finished fifth, 14.7 second behind the leader.

Freestyle Skiing

Qualifying continued for the men’s moguls, with Michael Kingsbury cementing his place as the man to beat for the competition.

Short Track

18 year-old Maame Biney advanced out of her 500m heat with a time of 43.665 seconds. She will be joining Britain’s Elise Christie, who posted a new Olympic Record time of 42.872 seconds.

Lawsuit alleges USA Diving ignored sex abuse of divers

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two former divers are suing USA Diving, accusing the national governing body of ignoring or obstructing inquiries into allegations that a coach sexually abused them when they were young athletes dreaming of Olympic glory.

The federal lawsuit, filed last week, names Indianapolis-based USA Diving, Inc., the Ohio State University Diving Club and Will Bohonyi.

The suit alleges that Bohonyi, who had coached at the Ohio State University Diving Club and was fired in 2014, coerced and forced the divers into frequent sex, telling them, “You owe me this,” the Indianapolis Star reported.

Calls to a telephone listing for Bohonyi’s most recent Columbus, Ohio, address went unanswered.

USA Diving declined to comment Monday, with a spokeswoman saying that, “Providing a safe environment for our members is of tremendous importance to USA Diving, and we take these matters very seriously.”

Ohio State spokesman Ben Johnson said the school opened an administrative investigation in 2014 after learning about the allegations against Bohonyi and he was fired in August 2014.

The university said Bohonyi was hired as a part-time, paid assistant diving coach in September 2012 and remained in that role until his termination.

Bohonyi has been on USA Diving’s list of banned coaches since 2015, but the lawsuit alleges that action didn’t happen until six months after Ohio State University investigated one of the women’s allegations and fired him. The report, the suit contends, was provided to USA Diving.

During that time period, it alleges that Bohonyi forced that girl — an Olympic hopeful — to perform sex acts numerous times while she was a minor.

She also sent him hundreds of naked photos, the suit alleges, saying that Bohonyi “psychologically coerced” her into believing that she “was required to perform sexual services in exchange for her continued involvement in diving.”

“He preyed on her age, vulnerability, and dreams of becoming an Olympian, and used the power structure and imbalance of power (coach/athlete) to make her believe she was required to sexually service him in exchange for her involvement in diving for Team USA,” it alleges.

The suit also alleges that Ohio State has had possession of the naked photos for almost four years and “no action has been taken.”

Ohio State said it notified campus police, USA Diving and Franklin County Children’s Services, as well as law enforcement in Montgomery County, Maryland, where the lawsuit says teammates discovered the diver’s sexual relationship with Bohonyi at a national competition.

Johnson said Monday that a campus police investigation was opened in August 2014 and then closed at the complainant’s request before being reopened this January, also at the former diver’s request.

He said university police are working with the county prosecutor’s office in that pending investigation.

Allegations of sexual misconduct also are the focus of a separate, independent investigation pending about a now-dead Ohio State team doctor accused of groping male athletes and other students decades ago.

The physician, Richard Strauss, worked at Ohio State for two decades before retiring in 1998. The university says allegations against Strauss have been raised by former athletes from 14 sports. The independent investigators are reviewing those claims and well as whether the university knew of concerns about Strauss.

The other diver named in the lawsuit alleges that starting in 2009, that Bohonyi, who was her coach, cultivated an abusive relationship, eventually coercing her into daily sex.

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MORE: David Boudia’s diving comeback delayed by concussion

Usain Bolt set to join Australian soccer team

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Usain Bolt agreed in principle to join an Australian soccer team in the nation’s top division, the Central Coast Mariners, a soccer agent said Tuesday.

“The deal between the Mariners and Usain Bolt, in principle, has been agreed, subject to a couple of benchmarks, namely a trial and, of course, some marquee funds support from the FFA [Australian Football Federation],” agent Tony Rallis said in a radio interview. “They understand that he has to go through six weeks of a trial.”

The eight-time Olympic champion Bolt has long harbored dreams of playing pro soccer.

Since retiring last summer, the 31-year-old Jamaican has trained alongside club teams in South Africa, Jamaica and Norway, plus had a much-publicized visit with Borussia Dortmund in March. Bolt and Dortmund share an apparel sponsor in Puma.

“This bloke’s an ambitious athlete,” Rallis said. “You know, the A-League needed a hero, and we got Superman. … If he’s competitive, he will lift our A-League profile, he will create dreams of young people and he will give the A-League a profile no amount of money can buy,”

The Central Coast Mariners, based in Gosford in New South Wales, won four matches and lost 15 last season, finishing 10th in the 10-team A-League. There is no relegation in Australian soccer.

“There’s still a lot of work to do in regards to understanding exactly how the deal would work out and how things would look, but things are very positive at the moment,” Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said on Australia’s Seven Network. “It looks like a good six-week trial period that we would be able to facilitate. If all goes well, who knows, he might be lighting up the A-League this season.”

The 2018-19 regular season starts in October.

“It would only be big if he can play and if he can go really, really well,” Mielekamp said. “If he comes, and he’s not up to the level, then it actually has a detrimental effect.”

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