The 2018 Winter Olympics have begun. Here's everything you need to know

Published: Feb. 8, 2018 at 6:07 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 9, 2018 at 8:57 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the chilly and snowy mountains of South Korea, the world's greatest cold-weather athletes are ready for action.

The XXIII Olympic Winter Games began Thursday in Pyeongchang, the first time the country has hosted the Olympics since the summer games were held in Seoul nearly 30 years ago.

Here's what you need to know about how to watch the Olympics, when to watch your favorite events, and which athletes are expected to shine over the next two weeks.

For the first time ever, the primetime telecast of the Olympic Games is being broadcast live across the United States. For Hawaii viewers, that means no more having to avoid spoilers for hours and hours while the rest of the country is gripped to the television.

The flagship televast of the Winter Olympics will be shown three times a day on KHNL – once live, at 3 p.m., as the mainland U.S. watches in what would be considered primetime; once in the evening, when Hawaii would traditionally watch the primetime telecast; and once again in the early morning hours, after the late-night shows featuring Jimmy Fallon and Seth Myers.

For a full television listing of broadcast times and events, visit the 2018 Winter Olympics page on the Hawaii News Now website. You can also click here to visit the NBC Olympics website.

One more thing: don't miss the Opening Ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which begin at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon on KHNL.

The events of the Winter Olympics are available via livestream, both online and on your mobile device.

To watch the Games on your computer, click on this link to visit the NBC Olympics website.

To watch the Games on your tablet or mobile decide, head to your app store and download the NBC Sports Extra app. It's available for iOS and Android, as well as on select Windows, Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV devices.

Many of the most well-known American stars are returning for another shot at gold, but there are probably a few athletes you've never heard of who have a serious shot at the podium.

Lindsey Vonn is widely regarded as the greatest female skier of all time. She recently told reporters that she plans to compete in the downhill, the super-G and the combined event in PyeongChang.

Mikaela Shiffrin made history in 2014 by becoming the youngest Olympic slalom champion of all-time. Despite Vonn's claim to the historic throne, many believe she's the best current Alpine skier in the world heading into the PyeongChang games. Her first event, the giant slalom, is slated for Sunday, and she could make history again by becoming the first woman to win three Alpine skiing medals in the same games. Oh – and she's still only 22 years old.

Shaun White is arguably the most popular American snowboarder of all-time. After a disappointing finish at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi – he finished fourth in the halfpipe, his strongest event – he's back to solidify his standing in Olympic lore. He appears to be rounding into form just in time, having posted a perfect 100 at the U.S. Grand Prix in order to qualify.

Nathan Chen might be the country's best gold medal candidate you haven't heard of (yet). Put it this way: one recent ESPN article on the figure skater, published during qualifying, included a line that said he could "belly flop and (still) be named to the team based on previous results." At just 18 years old, he's already the first athlete in history to land five "quadruple" jumps in a single routine; it could be the recipe for gold in PyeongChang.

Chloe Kim first qualified for the Olympics as a snowboarder back in 2014, but there was one problem: she wasn't old enough. The U.S. Olympic Committee ruled that 13 – her age four years ago, when she should've made the cut – was too young to compete in Sochi. Now 17, Kim is expected by many to become one of the breakout stars of the PyeongChang games.

Jamie Anderson won gold in the slopestyle snowboarding event at the Sochi Olympics and hasn't shown any signs of decline since – she's medaled at every single Winter X Games since Sochi. She's expected to add the newly-instated big air event to her medal list at the PyeongChang games.

Noticeably missing from that list? Any of the world's hockey athletes who play in the NHL. The league had an insurance disagreement with the International Olympic Committee and forbade the globe's best hockey players from participating in the games. The U.S. men's national hockey team is comprised of amateur and collegiate athletes and professionals who play overseas.

You can easily find out by clicking here, which will take you to a full schedule for each sport on each day of the Olympics.

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