PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The latest from the 2018 Winter Olympics:

Cross-country gold medalistJessie Diggins to carry U.S. flag

Gold medalist Jessie Diggins has been chosen to carry the flag for the U.S. into the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

She’s the first cross-country skier to carry the U.S. flag into any Olympic ceremony since Bill Koch at Albertville in 1992.

Kikkan Randall, left, and Jessica Diggins, gold medalists in the women’s team sprint freestyle cross-country skiing, pose during the medals ceremony Thursday in Pyeongchang. Associated Press/Patrick Semansky

This year, she memorably thrust herself across the finish line to give the Americans gold in the cross-country team sprint.

Retiring luge star and 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin carried the U.S. flag into the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games two weeks ago.

This becomes the first time women have been picked as U.S. flagbearers for both the opening and closing of an Olympics since 2004, when basketball’s Dawn Staley led the Americans into the Athens Games and soccer’s Mia Hamm carried the flag out.

Sweden routs Norway, Germany to win gold in men’s biathlon relay

Sweden routed powerhouses Norway and Germany to capture the gold medal in the men’s 4×7.5-kilometer relay in front of their king, Carl XVI Gustaf, to close out the biathlon competition at the Pyeongchang Games.

The team of Peppe Femling, Jesper Nelin, Sebastian Samuelsson and Fredrik Lindstroem teamed up to win by 55.5 seconds Friday over Norway, which took home the silver medal.

Johannes Thingnes Boe, of Norway, skis ahead Sebastian Samuelsson, of Sweden, during the men’s 4×7.5-kilometer biathlon relay Friday in Pyeongchang. Associated Press/Felipe Dana

The Germans won the bronze, marking the seventh time they have medaled in this event in the last eight Olympics.

Norway and Germany entered the race tied in the overall gold medal lead at the Pyeongchang Games at 13 and both desperately wanted to win.

Germany was in front until the final leg when Simon Schempp missed four of eight shots and had to do a penalty lap.

Speed skater Nuis of Netherlands wins 2nd gold medal

Kjeld Nuis of the Netherlands has become a double Olympic champion after adding gold in the 1,000-meters to the 1,500 title he won last week.

Nuis crossed in 1 minute, 7.95 seconds, and held an edge of 0.04 seconds over Havard Lorentzen of Norway, the 500-meter champion.

Kim Tae-yun had the support of the crowd at the Olympic oval and finished in 1.08.22 for bronze.

Russians shut out Czech Republic in men’s hockey semifinals

Veteran goaltender Vasily Koshechkin stopped all 31 shots he faced to put the Russians into the men’s gold medal hockey game with a 3-0 shutout against the Czech Republic in the semifinals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Russian athlete Sergei Andronov (11) and Jan Kolar (29), of the Czech Republic, battle for the puck during the third period of the semifinal round of the men’s hockey game in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday. Associated Press/Frank Franklin II

With teammates mostly clearing the way in front of him to let him see the puck, Koshechkin made save after save look routine in eliminating the Czech Republic. Koshechkin will almost certainly start the final Sunday.

Kontinental Hockey League star Nikita Gusev and Vladislav Gavrikov scored goals 27 seconds apart in the second period on plays Czech goaltender Pavel Francouz had little chance of stopping. Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-netter with 20.9 seconds left to seal the Russians’ first trip to the gold medal game since 1998.

Canada and Germany’s semifinal is later Friday.

Swiss men top Canada for curling bronze

The Swiss men have won curling’s bronze medal, sending Canada to its worst finish ever in the sport.

Switzerland’s team of Peter de Cruz, Benoit Schwarz, Claudio Paetz and Valentin Tanner beat Canada 7-5 on Friday. Schwarz took out two Canadian stones with his last throw of the 10th and final end. With one throw left, Canada could not score the two points it needed to force an extra end.

Canada won the last three gold medals in Olympic men’s curling and had never even failed to reach the gold medal match since the sport was restored to the Olympics in 1998. The Canadian women also failed to medal – the first time they’d missed the podium.

“I know that after results like this, people are going to reflect on what went wrong,” Canadian third Marc Kennedy said. “But at the end of the day, it just comes down to individual performance.”

Canada did win a gold medal in mixed curling, which was added to the Winter Games this year.

Team USA falling far short of medal predictions

Leaders at the U.S. Olympic Committee projected Team USA to win 37 medals at the Pyeongchang Games – a goal the U.S. will not come close to reaching when the Olympics close on Sunday.

The Associated Press obtained a slide that was presented to the USOC board in meetings last year, and used to set expectations and funding levels for the Winter Games.

Heading into the final 48 hours of action, the United States had 21 medals. Even if things were to go well over the handful of remaining events, the team will fall more than 10 medals short of the goal.

Alan Ashley, the USOC’s chief of sport performance, tells AP the team is doing fine. He says another way to view it is the number of close calls America has had at these games. The U.S. has placed fourth or fifth in 21 events.

Russians take gold, silver in women’s figure skating

The Russians have come to dominate women’s figure skating and they showed it by sweeping the top two medals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Even their closest rivals acknowledge how much ground they have to make up. But what’s much more difficult to pin down is whether it’s possible to close the gap and what it will take for someone to rise to the Russians’ level.

Alina Zagitova won individual gold with 239.57 points Friday, beating her training partner and close friend Evgenia Medvedeva by less than two points. Zagitova became the first Russian gold medalist at the games.

That she and Medvedeva would stand on the top two steps of the podium at Gangneung Ice Arena was about as predictable as the sun rising over the nearby Sea of Japan, the only question left being what order they would finish.

Canadian Kaetlyn Osmond put together two clean programs for what she claimed was the first time ever, and she still only managed 231.02 points, leaving her a distant – but quite happy – third.

South Korean curling team winning world’s affection

South Korea’s women’s curling team has become a global sensation. And they don’t even know it.

The team known as the “Garlic Girls” came into the Pyeongchang Games as the underdog who few believed would medal. Now they’re number one in the rankings.

They have earned worldwide attention for their fierce talent and funny personality.

But their coach has shielded them from publicity and the women agreed to turn off their phones before the Games. So they have no idea they’re superstars.

They got their name from their hometown of Uiseong, known for its prolific garlic production.

Canadian hockey player regrets not wearing her silver medal

Canadian defenseman Jocelyne Larocque says she wishes she hadn’t taken off her silver medal almost immediately after it was placed around her neck at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Larocque issued a statement through Team Canada apologizing to the IOC, International Ice Hockey Federation, the Pyeongchang Olympic Organizing Committee, the Canadian Olympic Committee, Hockey Canada and her teammates and fans.

She says her emotions got the best of her Thursday after a 3-2 shootout loss to the United States and she meant no disrespect. Larocque says she takes being a role model and representing Canada seriously and is truly sorry that her actions did not represent her values or those of her family and team.

The general manager of Canada’s national team programs says they expect professionalism and sportsmanship from their players.

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