Winter Olympics

Closing ceremony marks ends of 2022 Beijing Games

Almost 3,000 athletes competed in 109 events across 15 disciplines during the past two weeks.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach called for political leaders "around the world" to be inspired by the athletes' "example of solidarity and peace".

"This unifying power of the Olympic Games is stronger than the forces that want to divide us," he said.

Bach said the athletes had "given peace a chance," with his comments coming amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Industrial wasteland becomes Winter Olympic showpiece

"The Sustainability and Legacy Games" is a phrase that appears regularly, as well as being written on all official communications and documents.

The sustainability aspect comes from the organiser's commendable aim to be 100 percent carbon neutral, using carbon dioxide refrigeration techniques, low-carbon transport options and the use of existing venues from the last Games.

Beijing's Summer Games unveiled some of the most spectacular venues in Olympic history.

Climate change report released ahead of Winter Olympics

The Games, which start next week, will be the first Winter Olympics to use almost 100% artificial snow, deploying more than 100 snow generators and 300 snow-cannons working flat out to cover the ski slopes.

"This is not only energy and water intensive, frequently using chemicals to slow melt, but also delivers a surface that many competitors say is unpredictable and potentially dangerous," said the report, written by researchers from the Sport Ecology Group at Loughborough University in England and the Protect Our Winters environment group.

Taufatofua's result a success for Tonga

Competing in only his sixth major race, the 34 year-old completed his run in 56 minutes and 41 seconds.

Pita Taufatofua, who took up cross-country skiing just over a year ago, finished ahead of four other competitors in South Korea, and more than 23 minutes behind the gold medallist, Dario Cologna from Switzerland.

Head of Sport for the Royal Tonga Ski Federation, Steve Grundmann, said it was a fantastic race by the double Olympian.

He said Pita Taufatofua paced his way perfectly around a difficult course and even had a smile on his face.

Tonga's famous flagbearer returns to steal the show

Pita Taufatofua emerged from the tunnel covered in his trademark body oil and wearing a grass skirt, sandals and a huge smile as he led the Tongan delegation around the arena.

"I won't freeze. I am from Tonga. We sailed across the Pacific. This is nothing," Taufatofua said.

The Oceania gold medallist in taekwondo made global headlines in 2016 with a shirtless entrance as the country's flagbearer at the Rio Olympics.

The good news for his admirers is that he returned for the Winter Olympics, having switched to cross country ski-ing.

Tongan flagbearer Pita Taufatofua qualifies for Winter Olympics

Taufatofua lost 15kg as he adapted his body and learned a new sport, and is now able to compete in the Winter Olympics.

He made his name after finding recognition as the oiled flagbearer for Tonga at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The 34-year-old crashed out in the first Round at Rio, but has spoken of his pride at being able to compete again:

"After Rio I decided to find the hardest sport possible because I needed a new challenge.

"You've got to put your body through something really challenging and the goal was to do it in one year - and we did it in one year!"

Koreas to march under single 'united' flag in Olympic Games

They also agreed to field a joint women's ice hockey team in rare talks at the truce village of Panmunjom.

These are the first high-level talks between the countries in more than two years.

It marks a thaw in relations that began in the new year when North Korea offered to send a team to the games.

The games will take place between 9 and 25 February in Pyeongchang in South Korea.

North Korea reopens hotline to South to discuss Olympics

South Korea confirmed it had received a call from the North at 15:30 local time on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader had earlier said he was open to dialogue with Seoul and to sending a team to the Winter Olympics in the South next month.

The two nations have not held high-level talks since December 2015.

North Korea cut off the communications channel shortly afterwards, refusing to answer calls, according to officials in the South.

A North Korean official announced the hotline's reopening in a televised statement.

Vonn shuts down troll with Olympic fitness update

The American sat out last weekend's super-G meeting in Val d'Isere due to a sore knee, with one eye on the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Vonn said at the time that her focus was on the Olympics and she confirmed as much while taking down a social-media dissenter.

A Downhill gold medallist at Vancouver 2010, Vonn has recently been subjected to abuse on social media after criticising US president Donald Trump - one such troll claiming glee while suggesting Vonn would have to miss Pyeongchang due to her most recent injury.