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Top moments of the Winter Olympics in photos

The Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off with a bang on February 9. It was the second Olympics to be held in Korea after Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Games.

Whether a symbol of diplomacy or propaganda, North Korea’s cheerleading squad made for mesmerizing viewing. The 230-strong troupe could be seen singing and clapping their country’s athletes — perfectly in sync.

A record number of 2,920 athletes from 92 countries participated in PyeongChang 2018. Team USA sent the largest number of Olympians, with 242 competing.

Austrian superstar Marcel Hirscher won his first Olympic gold in the alpine combined on day four. On day nine, he won his second, in the giant slalom. But the 28-year-old missed out on a third, after crashing in the men’s slalom.

It was the Italian, Sofia Goggia — who is currently leading the World Cup downhill standings — that beat Vonn to gold. The 25-year-old became the first Italian to win gold in the women’s downhill.

Canadian skating duo, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, won gold with their dazzling performance to songs from the “Moulin Rouge” soundtrack in the figure skating final. Their passion and chemistry sent the internet into meltdown, as fans couldn’t believe their relationship was no more than a “business” one.

The tragic story of skater Elise Christie gripped the Brits. She was disqualified from the 1,000m heats following heavy crashes in both the 500m final and the semifinal of the 1,500m. History seems to repeat itself — Christie was also disqualified from all three events at Sochi 2014.

Japan was enthralled by Yuzuru Hanyu, who became the first male figure skater since 1952 to win back-to-back skating golds. At the end of his routine, fans showered the rink with Winnie the Pooh toys, Hanyu’s lucky charm.

US teenage Chloe Kim made history, becoming the youngest female Winter Olympic gold medalist. The 17-year-old got a near-perfect score of 98.25 in the women’s halfpipe.

America’s Gus Kenworthy made the headlines not for his snowboarding prowess, but for kissing his boyfriend, Mathew Wakes, live on TV. The moment was hailed as a celebration of LGBTQ pride.

In a big upset for curling’s three-time defending gold medalist Canada, Team USA beat them 5-3 in the semifinals. This takes them to the gold medal match against Sweden, for the first time in US curling history.

Following Russia’s doping scandal, the country was banned from the Winter Olympics, with 169 of their athletes allowed to compete as neutrals. But, in a shocking turn of events, two of Team OAR’s curlers — husband and wife — were stripped of their bronze medals after one of them, Aleksandr Krushelnitckii, tested positive for the banned substance meldonium.

Wojtek Wolski turned heads, playing on Canada’s Olympic ice hockey team, just 16 months after breaking his neck.

Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored the winning goal in a penalty shootout to give the United States a 3-2 victory against Canada, the four-time defending Olympic champion.

Jessica Diggins pipped her Swedish rival to claim the Olympic title in the cross country team sprint final on day 12. Along with her teammate Kikkan Randall, they will be the first American women ever to win gold medals in cross country skiing.

Pita Taufatofua competed in Taekwondo at the summer games Rio 2016. This wasn’t enough for the Tongan flag-bearer, and he decided to take on the winter ones too, competing in the 15-kilometer cross country skiing event. He crossed the line in 114th position.

The Jamaican women bobsled team made their Olympic debut at PyeongChang, 30 years after the men’s team captured hearts around the world, inspiring the movie, “Cool Runnings.”

Fans look on at the luge women’s singles on day four of the games. 1,045,727 tickets were sold to spectators throughout the games.

News credit : Cnn