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A big night for NBC, led again by Lindsey Vonn
(AP Photo - Christophe Ena)
By DAVID BAUDER
From Associated Press
February 21, 2018 11:56 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics:

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Thu Feb 22 01:48:37 EST 2018

Josh Gad sent his support and love to his family friend Max Schachter after the bereaved father read a poem by his son Alex, who was killed in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting.

The Frozen actor, 36, tweeted about his friend Max after the latter appeared on CNN’s televised town hall on Wednesday night to read the poem his 14-year-old son penned two weeks before his death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Gad tweeted, “Watching our family friend #maxschachter read his son Alex’s poem tonight is almost too much for me to bear. Max, we are all with you. We love you. Your strength is incredible. Your son’s poetry is light in this darkness. #alexschachter

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Alex’s poem was written as a free verse and went as follows, “Life is like a roller coaster/it has some ups and down/sometimes you can take it slow or very fast/ it may be hard to breathe at times/but you have to push yourself and keep going.”

“Your bar is your safety/it’s like your family and friends/You hold on tight and you don’t let go/But sometimes you might throw your hands up/Because your friends and family will always be with you,” Alex’s poem continued.

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“Just like that bar keeping you safe at all times/ it may be too much for you at times/the twists, the turns, the upside downs/But you get back up/you keep chugging along/ eventually it comes to a stop/you won’t know when or how/but you will know that’ll be the time to get off and start anew/Life is like a roller coaster.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Frantic Relatives Describe Terror of Florida School Shooting: ‘My Niece Was Hiding in a Closet’

Last week, Gad expressed his grief for Alex’s death on Twitter, writing that he was “angry” and “sad” as he called for stricter gun laws.

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“I am so angry tonight. I am so sad. I’m putting my phone down because we are debating sensible gun laws again,” he tweeted last week. “A child of one of our friend’s has a bullet in his chest & is critical condition because a 19 year old had access to a military weapon. Pretend it’s normal. It’s not.”

The next morning, he revealed that Alex had passed away from his injuries.

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“Last night, I received a text while I slept that our friend’s son passed away from his gun shot wound. My grief for this family and the many others knows no bounds. I’m so sorry this happened,” he tweeted.

Gad then called out political leaders for their lack of action when it comes to gun control.

RELATED VIDEO: 17 Killed in Florida High School Mass Shooting

“I’m so sorry our leaders are worthless,” he continued. “I’m so sorry we are bound to repeat this again.”

The shooting took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland around dismissal time. Seventeen students and educators were allegedly killed by a 19-year-old former student.

On Wednesday night, several students and parents of those killed in the mass shooting attended the town hall to speak to their representatives about gun reform.

Thu Feb 22 01:39:40 EST 2018

In a contest featuring two of alpine skiing’s greatest athletes, only one could come out the better — and it was Mikaela Shiffrin.

Lindsey Vonn and Shiffrin faced off for the first — and last — time in the 2018 Winter Olympics on Thursday morning and afternoon (Wednesday night and Thursday morning stateside) in the women’s alpine skiing combined, a set of two races in which the fastest total time determines the winner.

Shiffrin earned silver, behind Switzerland’s Michelle Gisin. Vonn, who had been well positioned for a podium after the first of the two races, missed a gate in the second and did not finish.

Their match-up came earlier than expected after predicted high winds moved the event up by a day.

The competition pitted the Team USA members against each other in two runs featuring both of their individual strengths: a downhill run (Vonn’s specialty) and a slalom run (Shiffrin’s specialty).

Vonn competed on back-to-back days, having nabbed a bronze medal on Wednesday morning in the women’s downhill. Shiffrin won gold in the giant slalom last week during her 2018 Olympic debut.

Vonn looked fierce during her downhill run earlier Thursday, racing in 1:39:37 (as in less than two minutes) to put her in first place after 13 skiers.

Shiffrin was the 19th skier to go down the hill and ended the run 1.98 seconds behind Vonn after looking shaky coming out of the first traverse. She placed third in the slalom, helping lift her to second overall.

The event served as a passing of the torch. The 33-year-old Vonn — considered the greatest female ski racer of all time, and the most decorated — has said the PyeongChang Olympics are likely her last, while 22-year-old Shiffrin is still early in her career but is already on a trajectory to potentially surpass Vonn’s 81 World Cup wins.

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Vonn told NBC she felt “great” after the downhill, and her excitement was combatting any fatigue.

“My will is stronger than my body most of the time, so I think that’s helping me a lot,” she also said and explained that she switched skis because the pair she wore the previous day got burnt out in that race.

Shiffrin, meanwhile, said she was glad she decided to skip the downhill event the previous night, noting to NBC that it was “definitely helpful not having a day of mentally stressing.”

“I’m feeling pretty fresh, more fresh than I expected to feel today,” added Shiffrin, who has been open about her battle with anxiety.

The two had been scheduled to go head-to-head in the downhill final earlier this week, but Shiffrin pulled out of the event due to weather changes and opted to concentrate on the combined event.

The move sit out of the downhill seemed like it would place Shiffrin in a good position to excel in the combined event, especially in contrast to Vonn as Shiffrin had more recovery time in between events (Vonn had less than 24 hours) and a more time to prepare.

With Shiffrin being the best in the world in the alpine slalom, having won 26 of 32 World Cup slalom events before starting the Olympics, she was clearly a favorite finish atop the podium.

Both Shiffrin and Vonn were aiming to score their second medal of the 2018 Olympics in the combined event, and with this being their final race, both hoped for a fitting finale to close out the Games.

While both have medaled, they have struggled at different points throughout Olympics.

Shiffrin won gold in the giant slalom but finished fourth a day later in her next alpine skiing event, the slalom, coming in just eight-hundredths of a second from bronze. She has also said she may have contracted a virus that could have affected her performance.

After her second run in the slalom, she told NBC Sports that she vomited before coming to the gates.

“It was kind of sudden,” she said. “It almost felt like a virus kind of puking less about nerves.”

Vonn had a bit of a rough start to the Games, having failed to medal in her debut in the Super-G. While she held on to second place for a few minutes after her run in Wednesday’s downhill final, she didn’t hide her emotions as she buried her head in her hands when she saw herself slip from second to third.

Shiffrin was one of the first people to congratulate Vonn on her medal after that event.

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Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics

In a post-race interview, Vonn seemed overjoyed that she was able to hang on to the bronze despite having the silver momentarily in her grasp.

“It’s so rewarding,” she told NBC of earning bronze. “Of course I would have liked a gold medal, but this is amazing and I am so proud.”

“I gave it my best shot,” she also said as her voice broke. “I worked my butt off.”

There has been much speculation as to whether Vonn would come back for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but she has given every indication that these will be the last. She reemphasized this in an emotional interview with NBC after finding out she had held on to third in the downhill.

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RELATED: Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Wants to Remain a Down-to-Earth Dynamo as She Chases Olympic Gold (Again)

Though Vonn has faced dozens of younger competitors in these Olympics, she’s said she doesn’t see her age as a problem.

“I have a lot more experience. I’ve been through this a few times, and I’ve already won Olympic gold, so I’m not nervous,” Vonn said on the Today show. “I don’t feel the pressure, I know the routine. And I think being older gives me an advantage, so I’m not worried about the young guns just yet.”

She added: “I’m mentally stronger, I believe in myself a lot more, and I know what my body is capable of.”

Vonn has every reason to hold her head high: she is leaving the Games as the oldest female Alpine skiing medalist in Olympic history, and cementing herself as an inspiration to athletes everywhere.

The Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.

Thu Feb 22 01:23:07 EST 2018

Though Chrissy Teigen is due to give birth to her baby boy in June, it’s never too soon for a baby shower – especially a surprise baby shower with your besties!

The pregnant Lip Sync Battle star, 32, shared moments from her surprise party on social media Wednesday in New York City.

“These are my best girlfriends on the planet. I have a surprise baby shower,” Teigen said in a selfie video featuring four of her close pals.

“Man. Ain’t nothin like girlfriends. Love you guys so much. Thank you for loving me back,” the mother-to-be captioned the footage on Instagram, even adding “#twobabyclub” in the comments section.

The star also received several gifts during the night out including a Hatch Mama gift box, Andrea Beaty’s children’s book Iggy Peck Architect and a Polaroid OneStep 2 Instant Film Camera.

Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.

Earlier this week, Teigen revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that she and husband John Legend are struggling to come up with a name for their son on the way.

Boy names are really tough,” the expectant model said. “I don’t even think he’ll have a middle name because we can’t even think of a first name. I’ve been toying with Dick Legend a lot … Richard Legend.”

Adding, “Everyone’s like, ‘Why don’t you do the J.J. thing, John Jr.?’ But John and his ego, he was like, ‘I don’t want him to feel like he has to live up to that.’ And I was like, ‘Wow, you are a jerk.’ ”

RELATED GALLERY: Presenting … John Legend & Chrissy Teigen’s Grandest Romantic Gestures

RELATED GALLERY: 15 Times Chrissy Teigen WasAlmost Too Hot for Instagram

While the parents-to-be are contemplating the perfect name for their second child, one thing they are not indecisive about is expanding their family.

Teigen recently revealed to PEOPLE that she chose to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) again more than two years after choosing to implant a female embryo that resulted in the pregnancy with their daughter Luna Simone, now 22 months.

“You do the whole process again to try to get as many embryos and eggs as possible,” Teigen explained of the artificial insemination. “Everyone is freezing everything and then you make the embryos out of what you freeze and try to make viable, perfect embryos.”

All in all, she and Legend are excited to give Luna Simone more siblings in the near future.

“For me, I just want to gather as many as possible. I don’t want to do this again for the rest of my life,” Teigen said.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein wants a judge to dismiss a federal sexual misconduct lawsuit against him and invoked the words and actions of Oscar-winning actresses including Meryl Streep in his defense.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on movie mogul Harvey Weinstein's request that a judge dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him (all times local): 7:30 p.m.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's largest television network said Wednesday it has severed ties with independent producer Gustavo Loza after actress Karla Souza said she was raped early in her career by a producer she did not name.

NEW YORK (AP) — Every two years, a miracle of technology unfolds: televising and streaming an Olympics with miles of cable, hundreds of cameras and producers who make split-second decisions on which pictures to beam halfway around the world.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The celebrated painting "The Fortune Teller" by Caravaggio is going on display in Mexico City in what curators describe as a multi-sensory exhibit that brings the public into the Italian baroque master's world.

NEW YORK (AP) — Four months before "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" hits theaters, Universal Pictures has announced plans Wednesday for a third installment in the rebooted dinosaur franchise.

Now boarding the next flight to ... Wakanda? Some airports had fun this week on Twitter with the futuristic African country in the hit movie "Black Panther."

LONDON (AP) — Hometown London stars Dua Lipa and Stormzy were both double winners Wednesday at the U.K. music industry's Brit Awards, where many guests wore white roses to symbolize the fight against sexual harassment and assault.

MILAN (AP) — Milan Fashion Week got underway Wednesday with a moment's pause to put focus on women who have come forward as victims of sexual misconduct.

"The Shimmer" is the name given to the mysterious phenomenon that, after a meteor strike, settles along a swampy coastline in Alex Garland's "Annihilation."

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Feb. 12-18. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the Brit Awards (all times local): 9:30 p.m. Liam Gallagher has performed at the Brit Awards in tribute to victims of last year's Manchester Arena bombing.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The aerial wizardry of snowboarders Shaun White and Chloe Kim lifted the Winter Olympics and NBC to a weekly ratings victory.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Television personality Geraldo Rivera says he has discussed the idea of raising the minimum age to purchase assault-type weapons with President Donald Trump, adding that Trump "took it under advisement."

NEW YORK (AP) — Daytime talk show host Wendy Williams says she's taking three weeks off on doctor's orders. Williams says that her doctor told her to take the break to deal with her Graves' Disease and hyperthyroidism.

MADRID (AP) — Madrid's International Contemporary Art Fair on Wednesday yanked a photo exhibition called "Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain," prompting charges of censorship against the government-funded body which operates the event venue.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Songwriter Diane Warren is overdue for an Oscar, and she has no reservations about admitting it. "I am not going to say, 'I don't need to win.

NEW YORK (AP) — Award-winning chef Jose Andres is working on a book about his efforts to help Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Ecco told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it has acquired "We Fed An Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time."

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jaden Smith's environmental consciousness was born when he was out surfing at about age 10. He saw plastic water bottles bobbing in the ocean beside him, and he was so upset by it that he told his parents.

NEW YORK (AP) — Sen. Bernie Sanders is planning his next move. At least on paper. The Vermont independent and 2016 presidential contender is working on a new book.

NICHOLS, N.Y. (AP) — Fox News personality and former New York prosecutor Jeanine Pirro has pleaded guilty to driving 95 mph in a 65 mph zone.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wonder Woman and Luke Skywalker will be at the Academy Awards — or at least the actors who play them onscreen.

NEW YORK (AP) — Mitch Albom is giving heaven a sequel. Publisher Harper tells The Associated Press that Albom's "The Next Person You Meet in Heaven" is coming out Oct.

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — With two Oscars in the past two years, Hungary's film industry has been on a winning streak. Now the creators behind the movie "On Body And Soul," a surreal love story, are hoping to score a third Academy Award.