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23rd Winter Olympic Games officially kick off in South Korea

9 February 2018 06:00 1150
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23rd Winter Olympic Games officially kick off in South Korea

ASTANA. KAZINFORM - The opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympic Games will be held in the South Korean city of PyeongChang today kicking off ‘the hottest sports battle of this winter', Kazinform reports.

The two-hour long ceremony will see a march of athletes from hundreds of countries and speeches by dignitaries invited to the PyeongChang Olympics. Over 300 people were involved in the organization of the Olympics and more than 2,000 performers are set to participate in the opening ceremony.

One of the most anticipated moments of the opening ceremony is the march of athletes. Abzal Azhgaliyev will be the flag-bearer of the Kazakh delegation during the march.

QAZSPORT and KHABAR TV channels, online and print mass media will cover the sports events in PyeongChang. QAZAQSTAN TV Channel will air the opening ceremony live from South Korea.

The official opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Olympics maybe be hours away, but competitions in curling and ski jumping have already been held. Sergey Tkachenko, the first Kazakh athlete to compete in PyeongChang, failed to qualify for the ski jumping finals.

Some 3,000 best athletes from all corners of the world, including Kazakhstan, will fight for 102 medals across 15 sports in PyeongChang from 9 through 25 February. Kazakhstan earned 57 Olympic licenses and will be fighting for medals across 9 sports.

World's leading provider on entertainment data Gracenote weighed in on Kazakhstan's chances to clinch medals at the upcoming Olympics a week before the official start. Based on Gracenote's virtual medal table, Kazakhstan will claim one bronze medal and it will go to freestyle skier Dmitriy Reikherd (moguls).

Meanwhile, Yelsiyar Kanagatov, head of the Sports Directorate of the National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan, claimed that Kazakhstan may emerge as a ‘dark horse' at the PyeongChang Olympics and ‘win unexpected medals'.

"Our skiers and freestyle skiers (moguls) have demonstrated great results at various international sporting events before. That is why we expect them to achieve success at the upcoming Olympics. But we can't say categorically that our athletes are not able to win in other sports. Maybe we will collect unexpected medals. Our short-track speed skaters also demonstrate a very good level. Our athletes have all the conditions and it is now their turn to win," he said.

Of six Olympic Games in which Kazakhstan participated, it won medals in four, leaving the Games empty-handed in 2002 and 2006.

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