Marching under the lights

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Graphic by Connor Gilpatrick.


 One of the world’s most multicultural events took place at the Olympic Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018 for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Many new and old athletes appeared out of the gate, representing countries from around the world. With some amazing visuals, the anchors for NBC said, “You were witnessing history.”

  Korea’s second Olympics started off with five kid tour guides that showed us Korea’s history and how it is unique. The idea of man and nature living in harmony was repeated throughout the ceremony. The use of tigers represents how Korea was a hunting place through its forests and mountains.

  What followed were many different colors, animals and dancing to represent many of the Asian cultures. They put on an amazing show that even used some augmented reality for people watching from home, the first of its time, which was able to bring visuals into the air. One visual projected was an image of a skier.

  This ceremony did a great job of expressing Korea’s culture. This country had many different ideas of coexistence from humans to nature and to technology. The amount of synchronized dancing  included touched on another idea, that the group is more important than the individual.

  Then it comes the time for the United States and many others to reveal themselves in their fitting outfits. A stadium filled with 35,000 watched as 3000 athletes from 92 different countries walked onto the stage. The US with the most athletes at 242, while 56 countries had less than 10 athletes.

  Those countries with small numbers still had the same spirit as everyone else. Tonga is a great example, for they had just one competitor, yet Pita Taufatofua came into the freezing stadium with no shirt, oiled up and a traditional outfit. He was truly showing the pride he had for his country.

  Other competitors were not truly representing their region like the Olympic athletes from Russia who competed under the Olympic rings instead of for their country due to a doping scandal. It is still a fair compromise that the athletes were able to compete.

  Another change for two of the countries: Korea was both North and South under one flag. It was a great moment of unity, yet more and more issues are being brought up, halting the unification of Korea. Hopefully this is the beginning of change for Korea, but only time will tell.

  Overall, the ceremony was a great showing of different cultures on a global scale and also went in depth on Korea’s history and their ideals. With all the new features, the imagery and representation were peak performance. This unification of the Korean teams marks an important point in their history.

Connor Gilpatrick, Staff Reporter