Paralympian, Olympic medalist light PyeongChang Paralympic cauldron (video)

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Skips of the South Korean wheelchair curling team and its Olympic silver-medal-winning women’s curling team lit the Paralympic cauldron together at the Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang on Friday night.

The Games run for 10 days through the Closing Ceremony on March 18.

Seo Soon-Seok and Kim Eun-Jung capped the final legs of the torch relay titled “Various Aspects of Coexistence” by organizers. They ignited the same cauldron that Yuna Kim lit to open the Olympics on Feb. 9 and was extinguished at the Feb. 25 Closing Ceremony.

Other torch bearers in the stadium included South and North Korean athletes carrying the flame together, as well as a South Korean biathlete with a Canadian coach, a South Korean athlete with his father and a visually impaired Alpine skier with her guide.

South Korean sled hockey player Han Min-Su attached his torch to his back and used a rope to climb the ramp toward the cauldron before handing off to the curlers.

“Everything starts with a dream,” new IPC president Andrew Parsons said in an earlier speech at the Olympic Stadium. “Great stories, great achievements, great drama. In a dream, anything is possible. Over the next 10 days, billions of people around the world will witness dreams becoming true here in PyeongChang.”

South and North Korea marched separately, unlike at the Olympics, where they entered the stadium together behind a unified flag. More on Thursday’s decision not to march together here.

Snowboarder Mike Schultz led the U.S. delegation, carrying the Stars and Stripes as part of the Parade of Nations. More on Schultz here.

Medal events begin with Alpine skiing and biathlon on Friday night on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA and streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

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MORE: Paralympic TV, streaming schedule

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
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Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

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