PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) The Latest from the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):
South Korea says the number of people treated and quarantined for norovirus following an outbreak in Olympic areas has increased to 86 as authorities continue to struggle to track the disease’s spread.
Hong Jeong-ik from South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday the number of cases is likely to continue to rise because authorities are screening more areas for the disease that was first confirmed in an area in the host town of Pyeongchang.
Officials had initially confirmed 32 cases among security personnel and sequestered about 1,200. Because the sick workers handled security, 900 military personnel have been brought in to work at 20 venues.
The additional 54 cases included 38 security personnel, but also police officers, facility staff and a journalist who had been covering the Olympics. Not all were staying in the same place, though officials did not say where else those sickened were staying.
Hong says officials suspect the outbreak was caused by contaminated water but that an ongoing epidemiological survey has yet to confirm that.
Norovirus is a common, infectious bug that causes unpleasant symptoms including diarrhea and vomiting but doesn’t require medical treatment.
Some of the Russian athletes seeking last-ditch admission to the Pyeongchang Olympics have arrived for their appeal hearings.
Forty-five Russian athletes and two coaches are seeking to overturn the International Olympic Committee’s decision not to invite them to the games. If they win, it would force the IOC to accept athletes it considers to be linked to doping offenses.
In attendance for Thursday’s hearing at a luxury resort near the Olympic facilities are Elena Nikitina, the 2014 bronze medalist in women’s skeleton, and luger Tatiana Ivanova, who won silver in the team event in 2014.
Nikitina says she is optimistic about winning the case.
Other athletes whose cases will be heard include Viktor Ahn, a six-time Olympic gold medalist in short-track speedskating, and cross-country ski gold medalist Alexander Legkov.
A few of the Russians have said that even if they win, they won’t take up their invitations because they haven’t been training.
Erin Hamlin will carry the U.S. flag into Friday’s opening ceremony at the Pyeongchang Olympics.
The four-time Olympic luger was chosen by fellow Team USA Olympians for the honor. Hamlin is retiring at the end of the Olympics, after nearly two decades of racing competitively.
Hamlin says ”it is definitely a privilege and honor to be the one to lead the team.”
The native of Remsen, New York, won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Games and is a two-time world champion. She’s also the fourth luge athlete to carry the U.S. flag into an Olympics.
The Pyeongchang Olympics have begun with a curling competition featuring a pair of U.S. siblings in a showdown against a Russian husband-and-wife team competing in neutral uniforms with no national insignia.
The opening ceremony is still a day away, but the games are already underway. Among the athletes are 168 Russians who are being forced to compete under the neutral banner of ”Olympic Athletes from Russia” as punishment for doping in Sochi in 2014. Others who were barred altogether have filed appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and are still hoping to be allowed to participate.
The first event is mixed doubles curling, which is making its Olympic debut. The more familiar single-gender version of curling will begin later in the games.
There were four games played simultaneously Thursday morning.
More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org/