Who Is The Boy Who Sang The Olympic Anthem At The 2018 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony? Twitter Can't Get Enough Of Him
You don't need to be a sports fan to enjoy the Olympics — particularly the ceremonies that mark the beginning and end of the games. After two weeks of mind-blowing athletic feats, the Winter Games in PyeongChang ended with a different kind of spectacle. If you tuned in to the closing ceremony on Sunday, you may be wondering who was the boy who sang the Olympic anthem onstage. Although he was far from the only child to be featured in the event, he stood out with his pure voice and (adorable) pastel blue coat. So who is this extremely talented child?
As it turns out, he may be a familiar face to fans of reality TV. According to The Guardian, the young singer is 11-year-old Oh Yeon Joon, aka the "Jeju boy," who was the very first performer on the South Korean singing competition We Kid in 2016. Much like The Voice, the show allows celebrity judges to build a team of contestants. (Unlike The Voice, the contestants are all children.) Oh Yeon Joon competed when he was just nine years old, and his rendition of "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas brought the judges to tears. Honestly, I challenge you to watch the video below and not do exactly the same thing.
At the time, AllKPop reported that the clip of his performance quickly went viral, with more than one million views on Facebook. Currently, the official We Kid footage of his performance has more than 2.5 million views on YouTube. Suffice it to say that after existing on Earth for less than a decade, Oh Yeon Joon became a bona fide star.
Since his stint on television, he appears to have kept out of the public eye. However, when he returned to the spotlight on Sunday to sing the Olympic anthem, many people were overjoyed to hear his voice once more. As one Twitter user put it, "OH MY GOD, MY CHILD OH YEON JOON!!!!!!" Powerful stuff.
Once again, though, his voice won the hearts of total strangers worldwide.
The Olympic hymn dates all the way back to the first Olympics in 1896, Smithsonian magazine reports. The Greek composer Spyros Samaras was given the opportunity to write music for the opening ceremony. In 1957, the International Olympic Committee chose his "Olympic Hymn" as the official Olympic anthem, to be played every time the flag is raised or lowered. (The song may not be familiar to many American viewers, though, because most broadcast stations stateside opt for a theme composed by Leo Arnaud and John Williams.) In 2016, a chorus of children from the More Project performed the anthem for the Rio Olympics, and at the Sochi games in 2014, the honor went to Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko.
Over the course of the ceremony, Oh Yeon Joon was joined by plenty of other notable performers. 13-year-old Yang Tae-hwan absolutely shredded the guitar in a turtleneck and leather jacket, prompting Time magazine to declare him the "star of the Olympics closing ceremony." The rapper CL, who began her musical career as part of the girl group 2NE1, dropped by as well, and according to The Guardian, the same five children at the focus of the opening ceremonies appeared again.
Perhaps most importantly, to the delight of K-pop fans worldwide, the massively popular nine-member boy band EXO closed out the ceremony with their signature dance moves.
Between EXO's highly-anticipated appearance and Oh Yeon Joon's pure vocals, the PyeongChang closing ceremony was every bit as fabulous as fans could have hoped. Two years from now, the Summer Olympics in Tokyo have some dazzling shoes to fill.
Additional reporting by Kyli Rodriguez-Cayro