The Latest: Hamlin leads US delegation into Olympic stadium

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea. (AP) - The Latest on the Pyeongchang Olympics (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Luge veteran Erin Hamlin has entered her last Olympics carrying the U.S. flag, which started as a feel-good story but quickly turned controversial.

The large U.S. contingent is one of the more enthusiastic groups, and Hamlin smiled broadly as she waved the flag.

Hamlin and speedskater Shani Davis were among several candidates for the flagbearer role and athletes from each of the eight winter sports federations voted in the process, which eventually deadlocked at 4-4. Hamlin won a coin toss, which was the predetermined method of picking a winner should the vote end in a tie.

A tweet posted to Davis' Twitter account said the process by which Hamlin won the honor was executed "dishonorably."

On paper, Davis would seem the more worthy candidate. He's a five-time Olympian and has won two gold medals and two silver medals.

Hamlin is a four-time Olympian who won a bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games and is a two-time world champion. She is retiring after these Olympics.


8:35 p.m.

The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has shaken hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a historic meeting during the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

After Moon and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach were introduced Friday, they shook hands with world leaders around their box.

In a historic moment for the Koreas, Moon spun and shook hands in public with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Kim Yo Jong is the first member of her family to visit South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War. She's part of a high-level delegation attending the opening ceremony.


8:25 p.m.

As is Olympic tradition, Greece is beginning the parade of athletes into Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.

Greece - which hosted the first modern Olympic games in 1896 - is being followed by the other countries in alphabetical order according to the Korean alphabet.

The teams are led by a placard bearer dressed in snowflake decorations. The music is various Korean pop songs that range from the 1950s to present day hits. There will be 13 songs played while the athletes march into the stadium.

South Korean athletes who have represented the country in different sports carried the flag around the stadium and then the traditional guard of honor raised the flag. The Rainbow Choir, which consists of 40 children, sang the national anthem


8:10 p.m

The Winter Games opening ceremony has started. The program is broken down into 14 different sections, including the parade of athletes and the lighting of the Olympic flame.

As the ceremony started, the lights dimmed and the crowd cheered as fireworks exploded overhead.

The ceremony's program follows the journey of five children as they travel through time from the past to the future as "they discover peace envisioned by Koreans."

Part of the ceremony pays tribute to the South Korean flag, which is known as Taegeukgi, and is an illustration of balance and law in the universe. The interlocking semi-circles represent yin (blue) and yang (red).


8 p.m.

The opening ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have begun with a round of sparkling fireworks exploding just above a seemingly delighted North Korean cheering delegation.

With taekwondo demonstrations from both Koreas, South Korea is putting on a frigid show for the world that's meant to display a newfound desire to cooperate with the North along with Seoul's stunning rise from poverty and war to Asian powerhouse.

A huge crowd gathered in the freezing Olympics Stadium in this isolated, mountainous corner of South Korea.

There will be plenty of sporting drama for both die-hard snow and ice junkies and the once-every-four-years enthusiast.

But the athletic aspect of these games has been overshadowed by the stunning cooperation of the rival Korea, who were flirting with war just weeks ago.

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