The Olympic Opening Ceremony was focused on unity and hope for the future

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The Olympic Opening Ceremony was focused on unity and hope for the future

Denelle Durling, Editor-in-Chief

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On Friday, February 9, 2018, the XXII Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony took place in PyeongChang, South Korea, where the games took place. This particular Opening Ceremony, in light of the current cooperation between North and South Korea for the games, was focused on unity and peace, and celebrating Korean culture.  

Five elementary school kids lead the audience through the ceremony, and it began with footage of these kids at historic places and popular landmarks throughout South Korea.

Then, the kids were shown walking onto the “stage” where everything was taking place. That’s when many people, dressed as various animals, came on as well, and all mingled together peacefully. Most of these animals are important to Korean culture.

Then, many dancers wearing traditional Korean style clothing–all in white, as the Korean people were once known as “the people who wore white”– danced to music in stunning performance.

Some of the special effects of these shows were actually created with augmented reality, meaning that the people actually there at the ceremony could not see these effects, but those watching at home on TV could.

The theme of unity mingled with celebration of the Korean culture was continued throughout the entire ceremony, though the politics that are so prevalent right now during the Olympics were mentioned by the commentators over and over again.

The fact that Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, was there at the ceremony was definitely not overlooked, especially since she was sitting so near Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States. Many people, however, are ignoring politics during the Olympics.

Emily Hollinger says that she loves the Olympics for this reason. She says “it’s a time to forget about all the political crap that’s going on”.

Putting aside these tensions, a lot of the ceremony was representative of welcoming others, more specifically important guests.

At one point in the many performances, there were hundreds of children holding candles, which are traditionally used for welcoming important guests.

The traditional Parade of Nations took up at least half of the three hour long ceremonies, and began, as usual with Greece coming in.

The rest of the countries competing marched in alphabetical order, according to the Korean alphabet, meaning that the United States marched in with the “M”s.

North Korea and South Korea marched together under one flag, and competed on the same teams and under the one name of Korea.

For a few of the countries that marched, it was their first Winter Olympics, and many of these only had one athlete. Nigeria, for example, made their Winter Olympic debut with their women’s bobsled team, which was their only event in the Olympics.

After the Parade of Nations was over, there were a few more traditional Korean performances that all represented peace, unity, and hope.

There was then a video showing the five children from the beginning of the ceremony imagining their futures, and what was possible, which continued the idea of hope for a bright future that was prevalent throughout the ceremony.

There was a speech about unity that addressed North Korea and South Korea coming under one flag for the Olympics.

Then, as the Olympic torch, which had began its journey to PyeongChang in Athens, Greece, made its way into the stadium, thousands of small drones lit up the sky, creating beautiful scenes representative of the Winter Olympics, and the Olympic rings.

The Olympic Torch was then brought into the stadium, and a North Korean and a South Korean athlete walked it up the stairs to the cauldron together, where Yuna Kim lit it, officially beginning the 2018 Winter Olympics.

After this, there were a few more closing performances, which concluded the ceremony with the consistent theme of unity, and represented traditional Korean culture.