The red, white and blue make Olympic history in Pyeongchang

Shaun White’s dad had never seen his son cry, until now. White needed a near-perfect run to win the men’s snowboard halfpipe event, and the Flying Tomato delivered to win his third Olympic gold medal and the United States’ 100th all-time in the Winter Olympics. White cemented his snowboarding legacy, but sexual harassment allegations against him may tarnish his reputation. Meanwhile, Mikaela Shiffrin was sidelined once again as the women’s slalom was postponed until Friday. In other not-so-great news, a Canadian speedskater is being harassed on social media and a Japanese snowboarder took a nasty fall on the halfpipe. But on the bright side, six medal events will take place Wednesday, including the first men’s hockey games.Don’t forget to check out how Team USA is faring in the medal count. 

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Grab those flowers and chocolates, Valentine’s Day is here 

While you should show your affection to your loved ones every day, Wednesday is officially the celebration of love. People across the world, including at the Olympics, will celebrate the love holiday, with many couples using the day to exchange gifts and spend time with their significant others (might we recommend a movie?). If you’re still looking for last-minute flowers, you’re in luck — though your procrastination will cost you.As for those proudly single? There’s something for you too, with plenty of restaurants offering Valentine’s Day deals that you can use to grab a bite with friends. 

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U.S. retailers are preparing for what they hope will be a boom Valentine’s Day with spending expected to reach $19.6 billion, a near-record. Nathan Frandino reports.
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Christian season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday

Many Christians today will observe Ash Wednesday, marking the start of the traditional season of Lent, a period of fasting, prayer and penance leading up to Easter. Lent represents the 40 days Jesus wandered the desert praying and fasting after he was baptized. Lent ends on Holy Thursday, March 29, when there is a mass to represent Jesus’ last supper. On Good Friday, (March 30) Jesus was crucified and on Easter (April 1) he rose from the dead. In a quirk of the calendar, Ash Wednesday this year falls on Valentine’s Day and Easter falls on April Fools’ Day.

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You may be wondering why people are walking around with soot on their faces. Here are four interesting facts about Ash Wednesday.
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Inflation report takes spotlight amid market plunge

With fears of accelerating inflation sparking the stock market’s recent free fall, Wednesday’s report on the consumer price index (CPI) could get more attention than usual. Investors panicked early this month when the January jobs report showed annual wage growth picking up to 2.9% from 2.5%, prompting concerns the Federal Reserve could accelerate the pace of its interest rate hikes. Economists estimate the Labor Department will announce that the CPI rose 2% annually in January, down from 2.1% the previous month while the core CPI increased 1.7%, down from 1.8%. 

Hope ‘springs’ eternal: MLB spring training gets underway

Baseball fans, your long winter’s nightmare is over: Wednesday is the day most of the 30 Major League Baseball teams begin spring training workouts for pitchers and catchers. As the players limber up, USA TODAY Sports can help you get caught up on your favorite team with our guides to Florida’s Grapefruit League and Arizona’s Cactus League. USA TODAY’s Jorge L. Ortiz reports on baseball’s frozen free-agent market and other key issues looming over the camps. Bob Nightengale explains why the players union is hosting a training camp for jobless players. Finally, here’s our list of 100 Names You Need to Know for 2018.

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Contributing: The Associated Press

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