Winter Olympics open in South Korea
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 2/09/18, 11:34 am
The 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony Friday kicked off the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, with a round of sparkling fireworks and signs of unity between the two Koreas. Thousands of spectators gathered under freezing conditions in the 35,000-seat Olympic Stadium, located in the mountainous town of Hoenggye. In a historic meeting during the ceremony, South Korean President Moon Jae-in shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong. The ceremony’s opening performance, titled “Peace in Motion,” told the story of five children who travel from the past to the future and discover “peace envisioned by Koreans.” Greece began the parade of athletes into the stadium, as it traditionally does as the birthplace of the Olympics, and competitors from North and South Korea later marched in together bearing a single white flag with the blue Korean peninsula in the middle. Luge veteran Erin Hamlin carried the United States flag as she marked her last Olympics. North Korea sent more than 500 people, including an official delegation, athletes, and cheerleaders, to the games. Just hours before the opening ceremony, the Court of Arbitration for Sport denied an appeal from Russia to allow 45 of its athletes banned by the International Olympic Committee because of doping to compete. Joining the more than 2,900 athletes representing 92 countries in Pyeongchang, are 168 Russians who passed a vetting process and will compete as individual “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.