With the Winter Games now just around the corner, fans are bound to have plenty of questions about the Olympics. For instance, will the 2018 Olympic opening ceremony be edited for NBC's primetime showing? As reported by CBS Sports, NBC will, in fact, be airing the ceremony twice: livestreaming at 6 a.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 9, and again during its primetime Olympic coverage at 8 p.m. that same evening.
Although it's unconfirmed whether the network's repeat broadcast will definitely be modified in any way, it's safe to bet that the early morning showing will remain unedited, given the program's commitment to bringing live coverage at this year's ceremony. However, according to the Chicago Tribune, the primetime special will "likely be edited for brevity."
This year's event, which will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea, will be broadcast live across all time zones for the first time ever, according to Deadline. The opening ceremony will reportedly last for approximately 2-3 hours and can be viewed on NBC, while live feeds will also stream on NBCOlympics.com as well as the free NBC Sports app.
Former Today Show host Katie Couric will reportedly return to the network to cohost the PyeongChang opening ceremony alongside Mike Tirico, according to Entertainment Weekly. Couric released a statement amid the Jan. 17 announcement which read:
"During my years at NBC, I loved covering the Olympics and showcasing the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of athletes from around the world. The Opening Ceremony will be a chance for South Korea to share its culture and customs and for the international community to celebrate this unparalleled display of athletic achievement and sportsmanship. There’s nothing quite like it.”
The Yahoo! Global News Anchor will also contribute to NBC’s coverage of the lead up to the Feb. 9th Opening Ceremony, according to EW.
Couric is certainly no stranger to the Olympic Games with USA Today indicating that she has previously hosted three opening ceremonies in total for NBC — Sydney, Australia; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Athens, Greece. This will be Tirico's first opening ceremony, although he's served as host for the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, while also anchoring the daytime games that year, according to Deadline.
Sharing her excitement for this year's festivities, Couric posted a snapshot of herself posing next to Mike Tirico on Twitter with the caption, "So excited to host the #winterolympics#openingceremony with @miketirico!!"
PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, the temporary open-air venue built specifically for the opening and closing events, is said not be equipped to host any of the actual competitions that will take place during the 2018 games. Although, the parade is said to come after the first rounds of curling and ski jumping will take place on Feb. 8.
Sports Illustrated indicated that there were initial plans to hold the opening and closing ceremonies in the coastal city of Gangneung, which is about 60 miles away from PyeonChang. However, officials decided against it, opting instead to build the structure in PyeongChang in an effort to keep the ceremony in the host city. It is noted, however, that Gangneung will host some indoor Olympic events, like hockey and curling.
As with all Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) dictates the order in which the countries enter the ceremony. The South Korea games, no exception to this rule, will follow the traditional Parade of Nations with teams entering the arena in alphabetical order based on the language of the host country.
As far as the show's order of service is concerned, the Telegraph reported the ceremony will follow the same general schedule as the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and will include:
- Entry by the head of state
- Playing of the national anthem
- Parade of participants
- Symbolic release of doves
- Head of state declares the Games open
- Raising of the Olympic flag
- The Olympic oath is taken by an athlete, official, and coach
- The Olympic flame and the torch relay
- The artistic program
The closing ceremony for the games will also take place at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on the the final day of the competition, Sunday, Feb. 25.
As a long held tradition dating back the competition's early beginnings, the event's opening ceremony features the rituals of flag raising, singing of the host country's National Anthem and torch lighting as an official kick off to the two-weeks-plus celebration. In addition to customary symbols, the display also showcases artistic expressions in song and dance from the hosting nation.
Considered one of the world's most important sports competitions, the Olympic Games notably features more than 80 nations participating in events that elevate the ideals of sportsmanship and goodwill around the globe. With a huge line-up of winter games scheduled, it's safe to say that this year's opening ceremony is just the beginning of events you won't want to miss.