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Winter Olympics: high winds over Peochchang

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Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Opening Ceremony – Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 9, 2018 REUTERS/Toby Melville TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Olympics chief Thomas Bach will visit North Korea after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. IOC spokesman Mark Adams said on Monday that Bach had been invited by the North Koreans during talks between the IOC and the two Koreas on January 20. Meanwhile, the IOC came under fire for not cancelling a snowboarding event in spite of a strong gale.


Olympics chief Thomas Bach dismissed concerns that North Korea had tried to "hijack" the competition for political gain. An IOC spokesperson told French news agency AFP that “no dates have yet been confirmed."

He added that the visit was part of the January agreement which confirmed North Korea's participation at the Games.

Meanwhile, the IOC came under fire over a snowbording event as high winds caused havoc at the Winter Games on Monday, causing many to fall down.

Angry snowboarders lashed out at organizers after the women's slope style final was held in heavy gusts.

It came after the women's giant slalom, featuring America's Mikaela Shiffrin, was postponed until Thursday because of the wind -- a day after the men's downhill suffered the same fate.

While the skiing was postponed, the slopestyle went ahead with near-farcical results, as athlete after athlete hit the deck including gold medal-winner Jamie Anderson.

"The weather was bad and too dangerous," said bronze medallist Enni Rukajarvi, while Austria's Anna Gasser added: "So many people got hurt because of the wind."

The International Ski Federation (FIS) admitted that conditions were "challenging" but defended the decision to go ahead with the event.

"FIS always aims for the athletes to be able to stage their best performances, which some athletes have expressed was not the case today," a statement said.

"But the nature of outdoor sports also requires adapting to the elements."

Heavyweights Canada won their first gold of the Games in the team figure skating, while the Olympic Athletes from Russia took silver to add to their earlier short-track bronze.

Germany's Laura Dahlmeier won biathlon's 10km pursuit for her second victory in Pyeongchang, before France's Martin Fourcade took out the men's 12.5km pursuit.

"It was really cold and on the shooting range we had a lot of wind," Dahlmeier said.

In North Korea, these, and most other Olympic events are not covered at all in the state-run press.

The Korean Central News Agency still opens with the February 9 speech of supreme leader Kim Jung-Un at the occasion of a massive military parade that took place just before the Olympic Games opened in South Korea.

And it carries his observations when he was the guest of honor at the Pyongyang Trolley Bus Factory.

Only hidden in the sports pages are only four articles related to the Olympic Games, but they focus on the Taekwondo demonstration by the joined Korean team and there is an article about how the North Korean delegation watched Ice hockey “with S. Korean president.” In the North Korean press, there is no mention of any scores, and medal tables with overall standings are absent.