The 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off with a bang on Friday, Feb. 9 in PyeongChang, South Korea, because the world’s greatest athletes gathered to mark the beginning of the video games. Rivals from throughout the globe represented their nations by rallying collectively underneath their international locations’s flags, with a couple of notable exceptions.
South Korea and North Korea, two international locations which are technically at battle, marched collectively underneath a “united Korea” flag that exhibits your complete, undivided Korean Peninsula. Through the video games, they’ll come collectively once more for a joint girls’s ice hockey group, their greatest present of unity in a long time.
Russian athletes additionally marched underneath a impartial flag, carrying impartial uniforms, which they have been required to do to compete within the 2018 Winter Olympics after Russia was barred due to a doping scheme.
The video games have barely begun, they usually’re already stuffed with drama. Hold scrolling for the highlights from Friday’s opening ceremony.
RELATED: The Winter Olympics’ New ‘Thank You, Mother’ Video Will Undoubtedly Make You Cry
The present started with a stunning fireworks displaying, lighting up the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. Quickly after, a pre-recorded section performed that featured 5 youngsters from the area who have been selected to inform the story of the historical past of Korea. The footage then lower to the stadium, the place the children and a white tiger, a culturally symbolic animal for Korea, entered the sector.
The youngsters danced alongside the tiger, in addition to different legendary creatures, to proceed depict how South Korea got here to be. Evidently, the lovable youngsters, and the spectacular dancing, distracted spectators from the frigid chilly.
Jamie Squire/Getty Richard Heathcote/Getty
A drum efficiency turned patriotic when the massive group of musicians’s costumes remodeled into the colours of the South Korean flag. It was probably the most elaborately choreographed a part of the ceremony with an emphasis on group dynamics, which is essential to the Koreans. The thought of the group being extra invaluable than the entire is harassed in Asian tradition.
Matthias Hangst/Getty Richard Heathcote/Getty
The second that everybody was ready for formally occurred: Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong shook palms with South Korea’s president in a historic assembly.
Women and men martial artists lightened the temper by displaying off their spectacular karate abilities.
Earlier than the parade of countries, the cute Rainbows Youngsters’s Choir sang the South Korean nationwide anthem. Afterwards, Greece got here out first, as is custom, with the remainder of the nations following in alphabetical order in keeping with the Korean alphabet and Korea strolling in final.
Because the competing Olympic groups for this yr’s winter video games have been launched, the gang went wild when group U.S.A., led by Olympic luger Erin Hamlin, paraded onto the stage. And, shirtless Polynesian tongan Pita Taufatofua additionally precipitated fairly the stir.
Matthias Hangst/Getty Pool – Frank Fife/Getty
Lastly, the large Olympic Cauldron was lit, producing one other main roar from the stands.