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Olympics get under way in Pyeongchang as Koreas march together under one flag

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Pyeongchang, South Korea • Everyone has been frightened for months about what would possibly occur all over those Winter Games.

On Friday night time at Olympic Stadium, South Korea after all set free a Psy.

Mixing a divided country’s tradition, symbols of peace and, sure, a number of thumping Ok-pop beats (together with Korean singer Psy’s mega-hit “Gangnam Style), this nation officially welcomed the sector to the 2018 Winter Olympics, kicking off the following 3 weeks of festival right here.

The night time began with a quiet handshake between South Korean president Moon Jae-In and Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean chief Kim Jong Un. Then got here an flash of fireworks — pink, orange and yellow — all over the 35,000-seat stadium. The night time ended with two individuals of Korea’s unified ladies’s hockey staff passing the torch to champion determine skater Yuna Kim to mild the Olympic Flame.

In between, a quartet of Korean singers requested the sector to “Imagine” and a Tongan flag bearer left little to the creativeness.

Former Utah Valley University sprinter Akwasi Frimpong waved the flag of Ghana and danced. In a couple of days, he’ll turn into the primary guy to ever race in skeleton for the African country.

U.S. luger Erin Hamlin used to be all smiles as she marched with the American flag — regardless of the frustrations of pace skater Shani Davis, who took to Twitter Friday to specific his displeasure over no longer being selected as the United States’ flag bearer.

Erin Hamlin carries the flag of the United States all over the outlet rite of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. nine, 2018. (Sean Haffey/Pool Photo by way of AP)

Vice President Mike Pence smiled and waved. So did the overtly homosexual, gold-medal profitable skier Gus Kenworthy. Though most definitely no longer to one another.

“This is the moment you all have been waiting for,” International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach advised the gang. “The first Olympic Games on snow and ice in the Republic of Korea.”

The chilly in the mountains of Pyeongchang didn’t appear to hose down the spirits of the athletes. It indisputably didn’t forestall the 3 competition from Bermuda from dressed in shorts, or Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua from reprising the glance that made him well-known on the opening rite of the 2016 Rio Games. Yup. Taufatofua, who will compete as a cross-country skier, went shirtless in the freezing temperatures.

“Over the next days, the world will be looking to you for inspiration,” Bach mentioned, addressing the athletes in the stadium. “You will inspire us all to live together in peace and harmony, despite all the differences we have.”

The closing staff to circle the stadium used to be somewhat perhaps essentially the most important for those video games. Dressed in white parkas and waving Korean Unification flags, athletes from North and South Korea closed out the Parade of Nations by means of marching together.

“We all join and support you in your message of peace,” Bach mentioned. “United in our diversity, we are stronger than all the forces that want to divide us.”

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