On a frigid night in Pyongchang, the winter Olympics opening ceremony took place. The 2018 Olympics have been riddled with controversy as the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was in attendance at the opening ceremony. Mike Pence sat nearest to her, with the two never shaking hands. The ceremony itself was beautiful in its simplicity as the South Korean light show was absolutely awe-inspiring; however, it did not attempt to be as intense as the Beijing Olympics.
To start the show, South Korean golfers Se Ri Pak, the woman who dominated women’s golf 20 years ago, and Inbee Park paraded in carrying the South Korean flag. The torch was carried into the stadium by figure skater Yuna Kim. She appeared out of the shadows, and other Korean athletes scaled the steps of the stadium to give the torch to her.
The dance routine that followed was one of the most incredibly choreographed routines I have ever seen. The dancing was so precisely executed that it seemed as if they were robots. Symbolically, the show was intended to represent the values of peace and unity. The simplistic complexity of the show was indeed powerful.
As some may know, North and South Korea unified for these Olympic games and are competing as part of one unit. This hasn’t been done since before the two countries divided over 50 years ago. Politically, these Olympic games should be a huge step in the right direction for a unified Korea. The opening ceremony wasn’t without copious amounts of political tension though as Mike Pence and Kim Jong Un’s sister never shook hands or made eye contact throughout the entire show. The tension wouldn’t have been as noticeable if they hadn’t been sitting right next to each other.
The opening ceremony was incredibly short this time around, which must have had almost everything to do with the frigid temperature of the night. The temperature didn’t bother Pita Taufatofua, Tongan Olympian, who competed in the last summer olympic games as a track and field runner, and who wasn’t wearing a shirt as he paraded into the stadium.
Though Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un themselves didn’t come to the opening ceremony, two impersonators who look strikingly like them did come. They walked around the stadium together high-fiving, talking and acting like they were great friends. The impersonators garnered huge amounts of attention from fans. People were shockingly turning their heads, completely believing it might actually be Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. They were escorted out by security within minutes of making their walk around the stadium. Pictures of the pair went viral almost immediately.
The 2018 Olympics games have so far been set up to be an Olympics of new things. Multiple countries are making their first appearance at the games. San Marino, a country with a population of only 32,000 people, has an athlete in the tournament. Nigeria sent their first athletes to the Winter Games this year to compete in bobsledding. If the games are anything like the opening ceremony, this Olympics promises to be exciting.