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South Korea set to host 2024 Youth Winter Olympics; North Korea could be involved

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic events are set to soon return to South Korea at some of the venues used for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

On the sidelines of the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, the International Olympic Committee will vote this week to approve Gangwon province as host of the 2024 Youth Winter Games.

North Korea is not currently part of the 2024 project despite earlier hopes of cooperation between the neighboring countries.

The fourth edition of the Winter Youth Olympics would be the first held outside Europe. Austria and Norway hosted previous editions.

The South Korean proposal includes the cities of PyeongChang and Gangneung, which were the hub of the 2018 Olympics.

North Korea could yet be involved “if the conditions are right,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

The IOC executive board also agreed to add the new sports of baseball5, a street version of the game with five players per team, and wushu, a Chinese martial art, to the program for the 2022 Youth Olympics in Dakar, Senegal. Those Games will be held from late October into November.

MORE: 2020 Youth Winter Olympics TV schedule

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Figure skater, 14, lights Lausanne Youth Olympic cauldron at Opening Ceremony

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Gina Zehnder, a 14-year-old ice dancer, lit the cauldron at the Youth Olympic Opening Ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

“Welcome home,” IOC president Thomas Bach said in a speech, noting that IOC headquarters are in Lausanne, before joining an athlete from each continent for a selfie. “Here you are in the heart of the Olympic Movement.”

Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA airs Opening Ceremony coverage at 8 p.m. on Thursday, followed by 13 days of competition. A full Youth Olympic TV schedule is here.

Zehnder, the youngest athlete in the Swiss delegation, isn’t the youngest person to light an Olympic cauldron. Four years ago, Norway’s 12-year-old Princess Ingrid Alexandra was the final torch bearer at the Lillehammer Youth Winter Games.

Earlier Thursday, each nation’s flag bearer marched out in the countries’ alphabetical order, with Lexie Madigan carrying the Stars and Stripes. Luger Reannyn Weiler was to carry the U.S. flag at a separate Opening Ceremony in St. Moritz, where mountain events will be held.

The Youth Winter Games feature athletes ages 14-18 in traditional Olympic sports and other events not on the traditional Winter Games program, such as monobobsled, women’s Nordic combined and ski mountaineering.

The U.S. roster of 96 athletes is here. Past U.S. Youth Winter Olympians included PyeongChang snowboard halfpipe gold medalist Chloe Kim and Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel.

The U.S. tied for the most gold medals with 10 at the last Youth Winter Games in Lillehammer. Innsbruck, Austria, hosted the first Youth Winter Olympics in 2012.

MORE: IOC details rules on political protests at Olympics

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2020 Youth Winter Olympics TV schedule

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The third edition of the Youth Winter Olympics, held in Lausanne, Switzerland, airs nightly on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA starting with the Opening Ceremony on Thursday.

All Olympic Channel TV coverage also streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for subscribers.

The Youth Winter Games feature athletes ages 14-18 in traditional Olympic sports and other events not on the traditional Winter Games program, such as monobobsled, women’s Nordic combined and ski mountaineering.

The U.S. roster of 96 athletes is here. Past U.S. Youth Winter Olympians included Chloe Kim and Jack Eichel.

The U.S. tied for the most gold medals with 10 at the last Youth Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, in 2016. Innsbruck, Austria, hosted the first Youth Winter Olympics in 2012.

Date Time (ET) Event
Thursday, Jan. 9 8 p.m. Opening Ceremony*
Friday, Jan. 10 8 p.m. Day 1*
Saturday, Jan. 11 8 p.m. Day 2*
Sunday, Jan. 12 8 p.m. Day 3*
Monday, Jan. 13 8 p.m. Day 4*
Tuesday, Jan. 14 8 p.m. Day 5*
Wednesday, Jan. 15 8 p.m. Day 6*
Thursday, Jan. 16 8 p.m. Day 7*
Friday, Jan. 17 8 p.m. Day 8*
Saturday, Jan. 18 8 p.m. Day 9*
Sunday, Jan. 19 8 p.m. Day 10*
Monday, Jan. 20 8 p.m. Day 11*
Tuesday, Jan. 21 8 p.m. Day 12*
Wednesday, Jan. 22 5 p.m. Day 13 & Closing Ceremony*

*Same-day delay coverage

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