PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony

PyeongChang 2018.jpg

What a truly remarkable sight. All the countries, the athletes, and the amazing performances all coming together to form the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

This is my first year really being pumped up about the Olympics and after watching the Opening Ceremony I’m a little disappointed in myself for not catching up sooner.

There was some beautiful performances from dancers, puppeteers, singers, and more with five children leading the ceremony. Over 2000 performers were involved in this aspect of the ceremony focusing on the message of peace and unity.

The Parade of Nations is of the course the big moment everyone waits for in the Opening Ceremony and it surely did not disappoint. Leading the charge was Greece, a custom I learned is due to them hosting the original Olympics. Bringing up the rear was South Korea, the host country. The other countries came out in alphabetical order according to the name of the country in the Korean language. This was a fact I found really fascinating as I had no clue what order they were meant to be coming out in.

The order of countries is as follows:

Greece
Flag Bearer: Sophia Ralli (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-country Skiing

Ghana
Flag Bearer: Akwasi Frimpong (Skeleton)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Skeleton

Nigeria
Flag Bearer: Ngozi Onqumere (Bobsleigh)
Athletes: 3
Sports: Bobsleigh; Skeleton

South Africa
Flag Bearer: Connor Wilson (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Men’s Sloalom

Netherlands
Flag Bearer: Jan Smeekens (Speed Skating)
Athletes: 33
Sports: Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Norway
Flag Bearer: Emil Hegle Svendsen (Biathlon)
Athletes: 109
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Nordic Combined; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

New Zealand
Flag Bearer: Beau-James Wells (Freestyle Skiing)
Athletes: 21
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Freestyle Skiing; Skeleton; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Denmark
Flag Bearer: Elena Moller Rigas (Speed Skating)
Athletes: 17
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Freestyle Skiing; Speed Skating

Germany
Flag Bearer: Eric Frenzel (Nordic Combined)
Athletes: 156
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Luge; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboard; Speed Skating

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Flag Bearer: Yohan Goutt Goncalves (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Latvia
Flag Bearer: Daumants Dreiskens (Bobsleigh)
Athletes: 34
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Luge; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Speed Skating

Lebanon
Flag Bearer: Samer Tawk (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 3
Sports: Men’s Slalom; Women’s Slalom

Romania
Flag Bearer: Marius Ungureanu (Biathlon)
Athletes: 27
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Luge; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Speed Skating

Luxembourg
Flag Bearer: Matthieu Osch (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Men’s Slalom

Lithuania
Flag Bearer: Thomas Kaukenas (Biathlon)
Athletes: 9
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing

Liechtenstein
Flag Bearer: Marco Pfiffner (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 3
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Madagascar
Flag Bearer: Mailtiana Clerc (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Malaysia
Flag Bearer: Julian Yee (Figure Skating)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Figure Skating

Mexico
Flag Bearer: German Madrazo (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Freestyle Skiing

Monaco
Flag Bearer: Rudy Rinaldi (Bobsleigh)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Bobsleigh

Morocco
Flag Bearer: Samir Azzimani (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Montenegro
Flag Bearer: Jelena Vukicic (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 3
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Republic of Maldova
Flag Bearer: Nicolae Gaiduc (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Malta
Flag Bearer: Elise Pellegrin (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Mongolia
Flag Bearer: Achbadrakh Batmunkh (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Cross-Country Skiing

United States of America
Flag Bearer: Erin Hamlin (Luge)
Athletes: 242
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Luge; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Bermuda
Flag Bearer: Tucker Murphy (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Cross-Country Skiing

Belgium
Flag Bearer: Seppe Smits (Snowboarding)
Athletes: 22
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Belarus
Flag Bearer: Alla Tsuper (Freestyle Skiing)
Athletes: 33
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Freestyle Skiing; Short Track Speed Skating; Speed Skating

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Flag Bearer: Elvendina Muzaferuka (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Bolivia
Flag Bearer: Simon Breitfuss Kammerlander (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Bulgaria
Flag Bearer: Radoslav Yankov (Snowboarding)
Athletes: 21
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Luge; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding

Brazil
Flag Bearer: Edson Bindilatti (Bobsleigh)
Athletes: 9
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Snowboarding

San Marino
Flag Bearer: Alessandra Mariotti (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Serbia
Flag Bearer: Nevena Ignjatovic (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Sweden
Flag Bearer: Niklas Edin (Curling)
Athletes: 118
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Switzerland
Flag Bearer: Dario Cologna (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 168
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Luge; Nordic Combined; Snowboarding; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Speed Skating

Spain
Flag Bearer: Lucas Eduibar (Snowboarding)
Athletes: 13
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Skeleton; Snowboarding

Slovakia
Flag Bearer: Veronika Velez-Zuzulova (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 56
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Ice Hockey; Luge; Snowboarding

Slovenia
Flag Bearer: Vesna Fabjan (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 71
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Freestyle Skiing; ice Hockey; Luge; Nordic Combined; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding

Singapore
Flag Bearer: Cheyenne Goh (Short Track Speed Skating)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Short Track Speed Skating

Armenia
Flag Bearer: Mikayel Mikayelyan (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 3
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Argentina
Flag Bearer: Sebastiano Gastaldi (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 7
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Snowboarding; Luge

Iceland
Flag Bearer: Freydis-Halla Einarsdottir (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 5
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Ireland
Flag Bearer: Seamus O’Connor (Snowboarding)
Athletes: 5
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Freestyle Skiing; Snowboarding

Azerbaijan
Flag Bearer: Patrick Brachner (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Andorra
Flag Bearer: Iriea Esteve Altimiras (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 5
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Snowboarding

Albania
Flag Bearer: Suela Mehilli (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Eritrea
Flag Bearer: Shannon-Ogbani Abeda (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine SKiing

Estonia
Flag Bearer: Saskia Alusalu (Speed Skating)
Athletes: 22
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Nordic Combined; Ski Jumping; Speed Skating

Ecuador
Flag Bearer: Klaus Jungbluth (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Cross-Country Skiing

Great Britain
Flag Bearer: Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton)
Athletes: 58
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Luge; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Snowboarding

Australia
Flag Bearer: Scott James (Snowboarding)
Athletes: 51
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Luge; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Austria
Flag Bearer: Anna Veith (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 105
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Luge; Nordic Combined; Skeleton’ Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Olympic Athletes From Russia
Flag Bearer: POCOG Volunteer (N/A)
Athletes: 168
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Luge; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Uzbekistan
Flag Bearer: Komiljon Tukhtaev (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Figure Skating

Ukraine
Flag Bearer: Olena Pidhrushna (Biathlon)
Athletes: 33
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Luge; Nordic Combined; Skeleton; Snowboarding

Islamic Republic of Iran
Flag Bearer: Samaneh Beyrami Baher (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Italy
Flag Bearer: Arianna Fontana (Short Track Speed Skating)
Athletes: 122
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Luge; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Israel
Flag Bearer: Alexei Bychenko (Figure Skating)
Athletes: 10
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Figure Skating; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton

India
Flag Bearer: Shiva Keshavan (Luge)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Cross-Country Skiing; Luge

Japan
Flag Bearer: Noriaki Kasai (Ski Jumping)
Athletes: 124
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Jamaica
Flag Bearer: Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian (Bobsleigh)
Athletes: 3
Sports: Bobsleigh; Skeleton

Georgia
Flag Bearer: Moris Kvitelashvili (Figure Skating)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Figure Skating; Luge

People’s Republic of China
Flag Bearer: Zhou Yang (Short Track Speed Skating)
Athletes: 82
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Czech Republic
Flag Bearer: Eva Samkova (Snowboarding)
Athletes: 94
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Luge; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Chile
Flag Bearer: Henrik von Appen (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 7
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Freestyle Skiing

Kazakhstan
Flag Bearer: Abzal Azhgaliyev (Short Track Speed Skating)
Athletes: 46
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Luge; Short Track Speed Skating; Ski Jumping; Speed Skating

Canada
Flag Bearer: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (Figure Skating)
Athletes: 225
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Luge; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Kenya
Flag Bearer: Sabrina Simander (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Kosovo
Flag Bearer: Alvin Tahiri (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Columbia
Flag Bearer: Pedro Causil (Speed Skating)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Speed Skating

Croatia
Flag Bearer: Natka Zrncic-Dim (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 19
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Luge

Kyrgyzstan
Flag Bearer: Tariel Zharkymbaev (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Cyprus
Flag Bearer: Dinos Lefkaritis (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Chinese Taipei
Flag Bearer: Lien Te-an (Luge)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Luge; Speed Skating

Thailand
Flag Bearer: Mark Chanloung (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 4
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Turkey
Flag Bearer: Faith Arda Ipcioglu (Ski Jumping)
Athletes: 8
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Ski Jumping

Togo
Flag Bearer: Methilde-Amivi Petitjean (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Cross-Country Skiing

Tonga
Flag Bearer: Pita Taufatofua (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Cross-Country Skiing

Pakistan
Flag Bearer: Muhammad Karim (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Portugal
Flag Bearer: Kequyen Lam (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Poland
Flag Bearer: Zbigniew Brodka (Speed Skating)
Athletes: 62
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Luge; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Puerto Rico
Flag Bearer: Charles Flaherty (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

France
Flag Bearer: Martin Fourcade (Biathlon)
Athletes: 107
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Flag Bearer: Stavre Jada (Cross-Country Skiing)
Athletes: 3
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing

Finland
Flag Bearer: Janne Ahonen (Ski Jumping)
Athletes: 106
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Nordic Combined; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating

Philippines
Flag Bearer: Asa Miller (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 2
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Figure Skating

Hungary
Flag Bearer: Konrad Nagy (Speed Skating)
Athletes: 19
Sports: Alpine Skiing; Cross-Country Skiing; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Short Track Speed Skating; Speed Skating

Hong Kong
Flag Bearer: Arabella Ng (Alpine Skiing)
Athletes: 1
Sports: Alpine Skiing

Korea
Flag Bearer: Won Yun-jong (South Korea) (Bobsleigh) & Hwang Chung-gun (North Korea) (Ice Hockey)
Athletes: 35
Sports: Ice Hockey

There were many stand out moments during the opening ceremony, from North and South Korea announcing they would be competing under a united flag to Russia competing under an unaffiliated flag after the doping scandal. On a lighter note, Team America entered the circle to Psy’s, “Gangnam Style”, the flag bearer from Tonga came out shirtless (wasn’t he cold?!), and Team Bermuda came out wearing Bermuda shorts.

Of course, the moment everyone was truly waiting for was the lighting of the cauldron. Several torch bearers carried the torch around the circle, the final two runners being a representative of North Korea and South Korea, until finally it was at the top. From there, South Korean figure skater, Yuna Kim, took over in the lighting of the cauldron. It was truly a sight to behold.

I can’t wait to see what happens during the Games and I’ll be following the Figure Skating closely. So closely in fact that I’ll have a post up soon about the results of the Figure Skating Team Event: Men’s Single Skate and Short Program from the 9th.

Are there any sports you’re especially excited about? How closely do you follow the Olympics?

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