The 2018 Winter Olympic games in Pyeongchang officially opened today with nearly 3,000 athletes from 93 countries competing between Feb 9 to 25.
The opening ceremony featured over 200 Canadian athletes and 87 coaches wearing red and white uniforms early this morning.
Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were flag bearers, leading Team Canada into the stadium around 7 a.m.
South Korea and North Korea made history by walking out together in the opening ceremony.
North Korea’s Hwang Chung Gum and South Korea’s Won Yun-jong led Korea’s team together and carried a unification flag.
It will be the first time in Olympic history that two nations would be playing on the same hockey team.
— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) February 9, 2018
The ceremony also brought another historic moment between two nations with Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in shaking hands.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, Thomas Bach, thanked both North and South Korea for working together.
“A great example of this unifying power is the joint march here tonight of the two teams from the National Olympic Committees of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Bach said in the speech.
Protests against unification
The unification flag for the two Koreas, however, left some South Koreans unhappy.
“We are here to protest against Moon-Jin government’s policy on the Pyeongchang Olympics,” Kang Min Soo, a protester told Reuters.
“He is making Pyeongchang Olympics ‘Pyeonyang Olympic’. Do you understand? We want to hold our own original flag. But this government is stopping us using our own flag. He is making [us] ugly we don’t want [that] flag. That kind of peninsular flag, we don’t want that flag.”
Finally, the 23rd Winter Olympics Games opened as Yuna Kim, South Korea’s gold medallist in women’s figure skating, took the torch.
She won a gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics Game in 2010, and a silver at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
Despite being banned from the Olympics by the IOC for a doping scandal, Russian athletes are still competing under the Olympic flag.
168 Russians who were able to prove they’re clean walked in the opening ceremony as the “Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR).”
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