Recap of 2018 Olympic Opening Ceremony

Highlights from the kickoff of the 23rd Winter Olympics


Photo Courtesy of The Guardian

Adam Hartzer, A&E Editor

As the Opening Ceremony in PyeongChang, South Korea marked the official start to the 23rd Olympic Winter Games, it also marked many historical events and sparked trends that went viral in the media. Here’s a look into some of the highlights from the ceremony:


  1. Koreans from North and South marched hand-in-hand as one, unified Korea in the Parade of Nations at the ceremony. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, reached out to South Korea in January and announced that North Korea will be sending athletes to the games. The Olympic Games marked the first time in years that North Koreans were welcomed to South Korea. After the ceremony, Kim Jong Un invited Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, to North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, after Moon exchanged a historical handshake and brief conversation with Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong.
Photo Courtesy of Kim Ju-sung/Yonhap/AP, The Washington Post
Photo Courtesy of Roberto Schmidt, AFP/Getty


  1. Tonga’s 2016 Flag Bearer returned for another Olympics. After carrying the Tongan flag in the 2016 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro as a taekwondo athlete, Pita Taufatofua has returned as a cross-country skier, making him both a summer and winter olympian. His appearance in 2016 at the Parade of Nations went viral because of his traditional Tongan attire, and, in 2018 he returned to deliver the same despite the colder temperatures.
Photo Courtesy of Frank Fife, Getty Images


  1. Russia was not represented in the Parade of Nations, after their suspension because of the 47 Russian athletes found doping at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Instead, Russian athletes who were still deemed as eligible to participate could enter the games independently under the “Olympic Athletes from Russia” and marched in with the Olympic flag, rather than Russia’s flag.
Photo Courtesy of Doug Mills, The New York Times


  1. The United States walked out to K-Pop singer, PSY’s, “Gangnam Style”, which was the most popular song in Korean history. Throughout the Parade of Nations famous K-Pop songs were played as the athletes entered the arena. US Vice President, Mike Pence attended the ceremony and waved to all 242 US athletes – the largest number of athletes any country has ever sent to the Winter Games.
Photo Courtesy of Doug Mills, The New York Times
Photo Courtesy of Doug Mills, The New York Times


  1. Vice President Pence was inches from Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. While being near each other, the two did not exchange any greetings or have any known conversations. Pence believed it wasn’t “proper for the USA to give her any attention in that forum.”
Photo Courtesy of Doug Mills, The New York Times


  1. The Opening Ceremony also featured innovative technology in a record-breaking drone show from Intel, showcasing 1,218 drones that created stunning images of a bird, snowboarder, and the Olympic rings in a dazzling, synchronized light show.
Photo Courtesy of GIPHY
Photo Courtesy of NBC Olympics