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Photo Gallery: PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

The Winter Olympics opening ceremony took place Friday evening in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Luger Erin Hamlin was Team USA’s flag-bearer at the ceremony

  • Singers from left Ha Hyun-woo, Lee Eun-mi, Jeon In-kwon and Ahn Ji-young perform during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
    Singers from left Ha Hyun-woo, Lee Eun-mi, Jeon In-kwon and Ahn Ji-young perform during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
  • Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) (Photo Credit: AP)
    Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Photo Credit: AP)
    Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • Dancers perform at the end of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (Photo Credit: AP)
    Dancers perform at the end of the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • A team name bearer's dress is seen during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Photo Credit: AP)
    A team name bearer's dress is seen during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • Athletes from Sweden pose for a picture during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (Clive Mason/Pool Photo via AP) (Photo Credit: AP)
    Athletes from Sweden pose for a picture during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (Clive Mason/Pool Photo via AP) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • North Korea's Jong Su Hyon, left, and South Korea's Park Jong-ah carry the torch during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip,Pool) (Photo Credit: AP)
    North Korea's Jong Su Hyon, left, and South Korea's Park Jong-ah carry the torch during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip,Pool) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • The team from the United States walk onto the stage during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Photo Credit: AP)
    The team from the United States walk onto the stage during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • Erin Hamlin carries the flag of the United States during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (Photo Credit: AP)
    Erin Hamlin carries the flag of the United States during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • Pita Taufatofua carries the flag of Tonga during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) (Photo Credit: AP)
    Pita Taufatofua carries the flag of Tonga during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • Erin Hamlin carries the flag of the United States during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Photo Credit: AP)
    Erin Hamlin carries the flag of the United States during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • A boy is draped with a Korean flag as they watch the South Korean team beat U.S.A. during their mixed doubles curling match at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) (Photo Credit: AP)
    A boy is draped with a Korean flag as they watch the South Korean team beat U.S.A. during their mixed doubles curling match at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • An athlete from team USA points during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (Clive Mason/Pool Photo via AP) (Photo Credit: AP)
    An athlete from team USA points during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (Clive Mason/Pool Photo via AP) (Photo Credit: AP)
  • South Korean Olympic figure skating champion Yuna Kim lights the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip,Pool) (Photo Credit: AP)
    South Korean Olympic figure skating champion Yuna Kim lights the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip,Pool) (Photo Credit: AP)

The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics started at 8 p.m. in South Korea and at 6 a.m. ET in the U.S. — with 2,900 athletes from 92 countries gathering to compete for 102 medals in Pyeongchang.

The U.S. Olympic team was led into Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium by flag-bearer Erin Hamlin.

The Winter Games run from Feb. 9-25. The Paralympics will use many of the same facilities, with 670 athletes competing from March 9-18.

The ceremony begins

The themes of the ceremony are harmony and convergence, and passion and peace.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Dancers perform “The Land of Peace.” The themes of the ceremony are harmony and convergence, and passion and peace.

The ceremony began with the type of spectacle we’ve learned to look forward to at the Olympics, with artful projections on the floor and a large troupe of costumed dancers. The action revolved around five children, local actors who live in Pyeongchang’s Gangwon Province.

The organizers explain: “The number five comes from the five Olympic Rings, and the names of the children’s characters come from the Five Elements — fire, water, wood, metal, and earth — which are believed to make up the universe.”

The Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium’s pentagon shape also includes a combination of different geometrical shapes — circle, square, and triangle — representing heaven, earth, and mankind, the organizers say.

The shape also means there will be five different entrances to the stage.

 

Introductions

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in entered the stadium, followed by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

Parade of athletes

By tradition, Greece, the home of the original Olympics, enters first; the host country enters last. In this case, South Korea’s athletes entered alongside their counterparts from North Korea, walking beneath a flag of unity, bearing the shape of the Korean Peninsula.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
By tradition, Greece, the home of the original Olympics, enters first.

The other 89 nations entered according to the Korean alphabet – a situation that has led to confusion among some viewers in the past, as they wonder at the order.

The U.S. team entered after all the countries whose names begin with “M” — so, after Malta and Mongolia and before Bermuda and Belgium. The Americans were the 26th delegation to enter the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.

Other notable entries include the Olympic Athlete from Russia team, who will enter as the 55th delegation.

The U.S. flag-bearer

Erin Hamlin shocked many when she won bronze at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi – the first time an American singles luger had ever won a medal.

Now she’s a two-time world champion — and in her fourth Winter Games, Hamlin led the U.S. team into the Olympic Park in Pyeongchang Friday night.

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Flag bearer Erin Hamlin of the United States leads the team in the Parade of Athletes.

While she’s comfortable streaking down the track at 90 miles an hour, Hamlin earlier said she was more worried about Friday’s ceremony.

“I slide. That’s what I do,” Hamlin told the media in Pyeongchang after being selected. “Put me at the top of the track, that’s my happy place. Walking out in front of a lot of people and even more watching from home, hoping to not trip over my own feet or drop the flag is going to be way more nerve-wracking.”

A native of Remsen, New York, she says she’s retiring after these games.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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