Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony
As many of you probably know, the Winter Olympics are happening this year. What you might not know is the location it is being held in. This year’s Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea. For every Olympics, the hosting country creates and performs their own opening ceremony that tells of that country’s history and culture. Today, we will be talking about South Korea’s opening ceremony, which was held on February 8th.
As I said before, opening ceremonies typically revolve around the host country’s culture and history, and this one was no different. The theme of South Korea’s ceremony was to blend the old with the new. They achieved this by merging their old culture with modern day technology. The performers, who were surrounded by 35,000 spectators in the stadium, made great use of objects and instruments common in Korean culture. Fantastic special effects were also incorporated using a projector, which projected moving pictures on the stadium floor. Songs were also sung, such as traditional Korean songs, and the Korean national anthem.
After this, the Parade of Nations were held, where every nation’s athletes marched through the stadium. Greece went first, then countries marched in order of the Korean alphabet. This meant that, instead of the U.S. marching under the letter U, they marched under the letter M, because the Korean word for our country starts with the letter M. After all of the nations marched through, it was Korea’s turn. This is where it gets interesting.
You have probably heard a lot about North Korea lately in the news, which is run by a dictatorship. Relations between North and South Korea have not been good either. Korea was once one country, until it was divided into two after World War II. In 1950, North Korea wanted to unite all of Korea under communist rule. This caused what was called the Korean War. The two countries eventually signed an armistice, which ceased all fighting between the two countries. However, no peace treaty was actually signed, so technically, North and South Korea are still at war. Relations between the two countries have been tense ever since. During the opening ceremony, the two countries put aside their differences and marched together under one flag for the first time. This could be a sign of good things to come for the two nations.
After the Parade of Nations, South Korea continued their performance. This segment of the show told about South Korea’s advances in technology. The props and performances in this segment were more futuristic. After that, a video of programmed drones was showed. These drones were programmed to form Winter Olympic specific images, such as a person on a snowboard, and the iconic Olympic rings. This segment was actually filmed in December, so that it could not be affected by weather. After this, the iconic Olympic Cauldron was lit. However, for the first time, the Cauldron was lit by one athlete from South Korea, and one athlete from North Korea. Another sign of unity between the two nations.
Overall, the opening ceremony was very good. It was well choreographed, and was visually stunning. I learned a lot about Korean culture, and their advances in technology. I also felt a sense of pride when the U.S. athletes marched through the stadium. This was definitely a good start to this year’s Olympic games.
Image from: time.com