The colorful, culture-filled ceremony featured a group of young kids who appeared to embark on a journey through South Korea’s rugged mountains with Pyeongchang’s official Olympic mascot, Soohorang, a white tiger.
In frigid temperatures and under the watch of spectators around the world, South Korea opened Pyeongchang’s official Olympic Friday night — or Friday morning here in the U.S. — with a joyous ceremony centered on peace.
In the opener, the children encountered several other creatures, and danced alongside other characters in the sweet storyline. The 2018 opening ceremony followed in the tradition of the mass spectacle marking previous such openers at the Games in Rio de Janeiro; Sochi, Russia; London and others.
A group of drummers stunned the crowd as they played along with a bevy of surrounding performers at the ceremony. The crowd roared as the drummers showed off their skills and, in the end, the musicians’ costumes transformed into the South Korean flag.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is enforcing a supposed outright ban on Russia’s participation in PyeongChang 2018 due to state-sponsored doping at the Sochi Winter Olympics four years ago. However, officials are allowing some Russian athletes to compete. During the Parade of Nations, the athletes marched under an Olympic flag and wore permitted hues of red and gray.
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