Photos Of The 2018 Olympic Opening Ceremony In PyeongChang Will Give You Shivers
Long estranged countries marching together, colorful costumes, dancing white tigers, and holographic lights — this year's Olympics opening ceremony had it all. For the billions of people who were unable to attend the ceremony themselves, photos of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony are a glimpse into a truly magical celebration.
The opening ceremony started with a story of children who time travel in order to learn about Korean culture. Haenaroe, Ara, Puri, Bichae, and Nuri followed a holographic tiger in a video, then appearing on the main opening ceremony stage in real life with a giant white tiger, symbolizing the Winter Games mascot, Soohorang. From there, a mix of dancing, music, and animated lighting took over the stage to tell the story of South Korea and everything it stands for.
Of course, the Parade of Nations, where each participating country shows off its delegation of athletes, took place, including the largest ever (the U.S.) and a unified group of South and North Koreans.
There were a few other huge moments — like the return of the Tonga flagbearer and, uh, the fact that Kim Jong Un's little sister was sitting right behind Vice President Mike Pence — but overall the night was calm, peaceful, and sent the message of unity it had hoped for.
1. The Tiger Kicks It Off
The dancing white tiger escorting the five children opened up the festivities.
2. Welcoming The South Korean Flag
Eight people in colored hats carried the flag of the Republic of Korea to its flagpole to be raised.
3. The Parade Of Athletes Begins
Traditionally, Greece always starts out the Parade of Athletes.
4. The American Delegation
The American delegation was the largest the United States has ever sent to a Winter Games, and it definitely showed in the parade. And the gloves made a splash, too.
5. The Korean Peninsula, United
North and South Korea marched together under a single flag featuring just the outline of the peninsula and wearing the same uniforms that just had the name "Korea."
6. Russia In Pyeongchang
The sizable group from Russia marched in neutral uniforms under the banner of "Olympic Athletes from Russia," which was how the IOC decided to allow clean Russian athletes to compete in the games despite the doping ban on Russia competing as a nation.
7. The Olympic Flag Enters
Those with the honor of carrying the Olympic flag did not lack in color.
8. The VP Looks On
American Vice President Mike Pence did not look like he was in an entirely celebratory mood at the opening ceremony. One theory for why that is was the seating order, which had North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's sister placed right behind Pence.
9. The Anthem Is Sung
Between the ramp up to the eventual flame and the opera singer's talent, the anthem was downright majestic.
10. A Lasting Symbol Of Peace
The dove frequently appears in Olympic opening ceremonies, and this year's was no different.
11. Tonga Makes An Entrance
The flag bearer from Tonga, Pita Taufatofua, showed up oiled and shirtless — which he did once before, when he carried the Tongan flag in Rio before competing in taekwondo. This time, he's coming as a cross-country skier.
12. The Flame, At The Top
Two members of the unified Korean hockey team took the Olympic torch up to the top of the stadium, where Olympic champion figure skater Yuna Kim waited to officially light the Olympic flame.
13. The Flame Is Lit!
Fireworks went off to celebrate the official commencement of the 2018 Winter Games.
14. Some Colorful Uniforms
The Finns were sporting some of the most colorful outfits, with different colorful hats for the male and female athletes.
15. Yuna Kim In Action
The beloved South Korean figure skater lit the flame and made it look easy.
16. Don't Forget The Dancing
Hip-hop dancers decked out in traditional Korean costumes were a hit.
17. Not All Of The Dancers Looked Traditional
Other dancers embraced the spirit of the future in their costumes and movements.
18. Those Stairs, Though
The torch bearers from the unified Korean women's hockey team had to climb up a seriously intense flight of stairs to get to where Yuna Kim was waiting.
19. The Celebration Spanned The City
The Olympics have a way of entirely taking over the city where they take place, and Pyeongchang won't be any exception.
20. The Visual Spectacle
The opening ceremony was not without its share of interpretive dance with fascinating props.
21. Some Impressive Artistry
Compared to the more extravagant ceremonies like those of Sochi in 2014 or Beijing in 2008, the 2018 PyeongChang opening ceremony was relatively understated — but that doesn't mean it was any less beautiful.