Northwest Horizons

Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony embraces unity

Stars+appear+over+the+arena%2C+visible+only+to+viewers+at+home.+Augmented+reality+is+a+new+technology+innovated+to+help+make+the+opening+ceremony+more+exciting+and+to+give+a+unique+viewing+experience+for+those+at+home.
Stars appear over the arena, visible only to viewers at home. Augmented reality is a new technology innovated to help make the opening ceremony more exciting and to give a unique viewing experience for those at home.

Stars appear over the arena, visible only to viewers at home. Augmented reality is a new technology innovated to help make the opening ceremony more exciting and to give a unique viewing experience for those at home.

Stars appear over the arena, visible only to viewers at home. Augmented reality is a new technology innovated to help make the opening ceremony more exciting and to give a unique viewing experience for those at home.

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There are children, running onto a white circle after a large puppet tiger, and line art from traditional artists bloom onto the circle under their feet. Dancers and more puppets join the show, with augmented fireworks only the viewers at home can see.

So begins the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The ceremony’s main focus was on the themes of unity and harmony, beginning with a marvelous technical display involving puppets and dancers that retell Korea’s traditional origin story, and emphasizing the themes of living in harmony with all things.

The next display was an impressive drum and instrument performance with costumes that arranged to create the South Korean flag, which itself is derived from the famous concept of yin and yang. This display was also a gesture of peace towards North Korea.

This is considered important because the Olympic Games are taking place 50 miles south of the border between the two Koreas. This has made some people nervous.

“Obviously, there are some problems with them being so close to North Korea with recent events, but we’ll just have to wait and see,” said junior Jack Greiwe.

Others disagree.

“South Korea is a democracy, and we have very good ties with them and a relatively good defense, so I don’t think there’s really anything to worry about there,” said sophomore Valeria Orozco. “We have to avoid conflict with them, and trusting that they won’t attack the games in some way is a step in the right direction.”

During the parade of athletes, countries came in alphabetically after Greece, according to the Korean alphabet, which provided a unique order of countries. Some special notice goes to Nigeria, for their women’s bobsledding team, and the United States for having the largest selection of delegates.

Russia should also be noted for its athletes entering as independent. The Olympic Committee has refused to allow Russia to enter into the Olympics because of the human rights violations occurring there.

South Korea made a historical moment by finishing the parade under a united flag with North Korea, emphasizing the idea of peace that has been the centerpiece of the ceremony. Two flag bearers, one from North Korea, one from South Korea, carried the flag together.

How these events will be re-contextualized, considering the current nuclear technology North Korea has been developing and using to threaten the United States with, is unknown. What is known is that this event of the joined Koreas will be used a symbol in some way for the upcoming events.

While there are worries, such as the proximity to North Korea, and the controversial politics surrounding human rights violations from Russia, there is plenty to celebrate and South Korea certainly displayed that.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony embraces unity”

  1. Mavelyn Cotter on February 12th, 2018 6:42 pm

    Wow, Sydney! What a great article. Your thoughts and words far surpass your age. Keep writing, you will be a great journalist.

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Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony embraces unity