Feb 8 Olympics: Figure skating, freestyle skiing kick off primetime TV

Nathan Chen of The United States trains during Figure Skating practice ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 7, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  
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The 2018 Winter Olympics officially kick off with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, but some athletes have been competing since Wednesday. 

Competition continues on Thursday with the start of team figure skating and freestyle skiing. 

Here's what you need to know:

Team figure skating competition begins

Thurs. 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT | Watch on NBC

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A Winter Olympics favorite, figure skating competition starts with men's and pairs' short programs on Thursday. A short program routine cannot be longer than three minutes. 

Eighteen-year-old Nathan Chen has the best chance at taking home gold for the U.S. figure skating team. He's a two-time national champion known for his athleticism. 

There is only one pair representing the U.S. in pairs figure skating: Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim. They are the first married couple to compete for Team USA in pairs at the Olympics since 1998.

Qualifying rounds for freestyle skiing -- moguls 

Thurs. 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT | Watch on NBC

Freestyle skiing starts on Thursday night with the qualifying rounds of men's and women's moguls. Jaelin Kauf from Colorado is the skier to watch as she dominated the season with four podium finishes, including two wins. This will be her first Winter Olympics.

North Korea has a military parade on eve of the Olympics

North Korea held a massive military parade highlighted by intercontinental ballistic missiles in its capital on Thursday, just one day before South Korea hosts the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

North Korea is sending 22 athletes to compete in the Olympics and a delegation of more than 400 musicians, singers, martial artists and members of a cheering group to the games.

Luger Erin Hamlin will carry the U.S. flag for the opening ceremony

Erin Hamlin, a four-time Olympic luger, was chosen by fellow Team USA Olympians for the honor. Hamlin is retiring at the end of the Olympics after nearly two decades of racing competitively.

The Remsen, New York native won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Games and is a two-time world champion. She's also the fourth luge athlete to carry the U.S. flag into an Olympics.

American brother and sister compete together in mixed doubles curling

Thurs. 6:05 a.m. ET / 3:05 a.m. PT | Watch on NBCOlympics.com

Curling is a staple at the Winter Olympics, but this is the first time mixed doubles curling will be played during Olympic competition. The International Olympic Committee voted to add the sport in 2015.

Make sure you keep an eye out for sibling team Matt and Becca Hamilton from Wisconsin. They will compete together during the mixed doubles tournament. 

On Thursday, the Hamiltons face Canada in the morning and South Korea in the evening during the round-robin games at 11:35 p.m. ET / 8:35 p.m. PT.

For a full rundown of the day's events, visit the schedule on NBCOlympics.com. 

Contributing: Associated Press