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4 to Watch: Dazzling Opening Ceremony Kicks Off Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang as Curling, Snowboarding Take Global Stage

Friday in Pyeongchang features a dazzling opening ceremony, a number of curling events and the qualifier for the men's snowboard slopestyle

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The first Olympic Winter Games ever held in South Korea officially kicked off Friday night with a two-hour spectacle that featured more than a few surprise twists. Plus, a famed sibling duo from the U.S. took on more rivals in curling and more than a dozen men from Team USA's snowboarding squad vied for a spot in the slopestyle finals. There was no shortage of must-see action, for sure. 

Without further ado, here are our four to Watch as we kick off the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics:

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Mikaela Shiffrin in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on Dec. 19, 2017 in Courchevel, France. Shiffrin, a winter Olympics contender from the United States, beat out France's Tessa Worley for the World Cup in giant slalom.

1. Spectacular Opening Ceremony Officially Kicks Off the Games

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The first Olympic Winter Games ever held in South Korea officially kicked off Friday with the opening ceremony, a two-hour spectacle that featured feature more than a few surprise twists. Hosted by Katie Couric and Mike Tirico, it took place in the open-air PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. The show also featured the parade of nations, raising of the flag and more traditional components.

Ralph Lauren designed the outfits for the U.S. delegation. Athletes will wear parkas and bomber jackets, each replete with their own heating systems. They'll have on stylish mountaineering boost, bandanas and suede gloves as well. Local luge star Erin Hamlin, who has said she'll retire after Pyeongchang, was selected as the flag bearer for Team USA. She won a bronze medal in singles luge in Sochi, the first American to ever medal in the event. 

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was in the audience. Accompanying Pence was Fred Warmer, the father of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died after he was imprisoned in North Korea and returned home in a coma. Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, an increasingly influential figure, became the first member of North Korea’s ruling family to visit the South. 

Must-See: Remember Rio? Time-lapse footage captures incredible 2016 opening ceremony

2. Men's Snowboard Slopestyle Qualifying Round

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More than a dozen men from Team USA looked to qualify for the men's slopestyle event in snowboarding. Canadian and Norwegian snowboarders were the favorites in both men’s slopestyle and big air snowboarding, but two first-time Olympians should give the U.S. a chance: teenagers Chris Corning and Red Gerard. Corning, 18, ranked 14th in slopestyle in the 2016-17 World Snowboarding Tour. At the last Winter Games, Ryan Stassel finished 14th in slopestyle.

Other top riders to watch: Canadians Mark McMorris, who competes in Pyeongchang about a year after surviving a terrible snowboarding accident that left him hospitalized, and Max Parrot, known for new tricks, as well as top Norwegian contender Marcus Kleveland.

How to Watch: Click here to watch the qualifying round live. The action starts at 8 p.m. ET.

Must-See: Flashback to Sochi -- wildest crashes from the women's slopestyle

3. Alpine Skiing Men's Downhill Training

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The world's fastest skiers took to the slopes in the sport's marquee event. Five men from Team USA vied for gold in the crowded field -- Wiley Maple, Thomas Biesemeyer, Steven Nyman, Jared Goldberg and Bryce Bennett -- and they'll be looking for this training run to get them ready for the big one. 

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4. Hamilton Siblings Lose to China, All But Lose Shot at Medal

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Matt and Becca Hamilton saw their chances to advance to the semifinals in mixed doubles curling all but evaporate as they lost to China 6-4 Saturday morning at Gangneung Curling Centre.

The first end was the first time the Hamiltons had scored more than one point in an end since the first game of the competition against Team OAR.

The loss essentially eliminates the U.S. from reaching the semifinals. They fall to 1-4 with two games remaining. The United States’ only chance to reach the semifinals is to win their final 2 matches to finish 3-4, then have enough other teams also finish at 3-4. China improves to 2-3 overall.

Must-See: U.S. curler Matt Hamilton finds the ice in the worst way

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