The Winter Olympic Games Opening Ceremony


By: Ethan Roebuck

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang opened with grand fashion on Friday.

The ceremonies followed deeply enriched Korean tradition to create a safe and warm environment for the games, and to also create a greater impact on the world with the games taking place in one of the most tense political climates in the world.

The production began with a Korean symbol of protection, the tiger, slowly parading onto the large performance floor. Small children were playing around the tiger as it was seen protecting the people of Korea, and then followed many other traditions of the Korean people.

Much of the theme was centered around the peaceful coexistence of power that is believed to connect all natural objects together. The force is balanced between light and dark, good and evil, which is represented by the Yin-Yang. The drums used throughout the ceremony were two-sided to represent the opposite sides that, although separated, existing beside each other, present in all things.  

Family traditions and customs are held in high regard in Korea. The family name is always listed first, as that is seen more important than the individual. Believing in a cycle of all things, such as life, the shape was very present throughout the ceremony. The performance floor in the middle of the arena was a circle to stick with the theme of cycles of life.

Another symbol of the Korean people is the Phoenix, it resembles the nation rising from the ashes of the many years of wars the peninsula has weathered.

Part of the presentation was highlighting Korea’s storied past, and forecasting what their future might be. One of the earliest star maps was produced in Korea, and the very map was projected onto the floor display. Later, a video highlighted the peninsula’s desire to transition out of their industrial revolution, and into a new, modern, technological revolution.

One of the key feelings the ceremony was meant to portray was hope. A beautiful traditional Korean song that had very much a solemn feeling. Shortly after, several Korean performers sang their rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, a very beautiful and hopeful song challenging everyone to simply live in unison.

“We are all touched by this wonderful gesture we all join in support,” International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said. “We all join and support you in your message of peace… We are stronger than the force that divides us.”

The games were then officially opened by the South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Both North and South Korea are united as one in competition this year as the two teams look to help ease tensions between the two nations at a time of high tension.

Team USA set the olympic record for the most athletes ever at a Winter Games with 242 total athletes. The team included seven sets of siblings, a married couple, and ten former gold medalists. The oldest team member was former NHL player Brian Gionta, playing for team USA since NHL players were not able to join the Olympics, at age 39.

Team Sweden’s hockey team also had on their squad the potential first overall NHL draft pick, making them a strong threat.

On a more humorous note, the same man found himself onto the performance floor twice. Once during the traditional Korean song, and during the visual presentations later. He was then promptly escorted out of the building.

The Winter Olympic Games are a very fun and unique time, it has been used as a stage to hopefully bring more peace to the world in a very tough world political climate.