Winter Olympics kick off amid political tensions between North and South Korea

Jessie Diggins

Jessie Diggins

Mr Mutko, a former sports minister who has himself been banned for life from the Olympics, said there would be a competition in Russian Federation for the banned athletes instead.

After the CAS ruling, the International Olympic Committee said that "we welcome this decision which supports the fight against doping and brings clarity for all athletes".

This year the Winter Olympics will run from the 9th to the 25th of February, with the closing ceremony taking place at 6AM ET/3AM PT on Friday, February 2th.

A Keremeos massage therapist is already in South Korea working to keep Canadian athletes competing in top form.

North and South Korean athletes marched together at the opening ceremony, following months of negotiations by Seoul, which is seeking to use the Olympics to ease tensions over by Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme.

In rejecting the appeals, the CAS said the athletes had not demonstrated the process was "carried out in a discriminatory, arbitrary, or unfair manner".

In November, the International Olympic Committee banished Russian Federation from the Games but opened the door for athletes who could prove their doping innocence through a special vetting process.

Bach says a "mini-Olympic event" will be held on the continent, though a specific country has not been selected.

The Pyeongchang Olympics have begun with a curling competition featuring a showdown between a pair of U.S. siblings and a Russian husband-and-wife team competing in neutral uniforms with no national insignia.

But dozens of Russian athletes who had hoped to compete under the neutral flag were deemed ineligible by the world Olympic body.

In the United States, a 14-hour time difference between South Korea and the East Coast means watching the Games live will be challenge at times, but Olympic enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to.

Besides, the CAS panel also considered appeals filed by 13 Russian athletes and two coaches, who had been slapped by the IOC with life-time Olympic bans, were later cleared by the CAS, but were still denied by the IOC invitations to participate in the 2018 Olympics.

This is the third Olympics (Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, now PyeongChang 2018) for Marnie Todd who works with Freestyle Canada as a registered massage therapist.

The Telegraph has reported the ceremony will broadly follow the same structure as the show put on by the Russians in Sochi four years ago.

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