Winter Olympics 2018 | Everything You Missed from the Opening Ceremony

From Gangnam Style and silly hats to dabbing, ponchos and topless athletes...

Lead photograph by Sam Mellish

The 2018 Winter Olympics have officially begun with the lighting of the Olympic flame at the end of a weird and wonderful opening ceremony in Pyeongchang.

Well, actually they began a couple of days ago – with a few qualification events taking place on 7 and 8 February 2018 – but apparently we’re not counting those this year.


The opening ceremony was – as opening ceremonies tend to be – deeply bizarre. The narrative followed four small children learning the history of South Korea and Pyeongchang through video, dance, giant paper mache animals and a bunch of strange occurrences, before the teams and athletes then eventually came out and got on with the flag waving.


After that, naturally, it got back to the story of the children, who had now grown up and become surgeons and K-pop stars among other things, there were people dressed as sunflowers and lots of glowing stuff, and then there was a fairly predictable chat from an old guy in a coat before the flame was finally lit.

So what’d you miss? We watched the Olympic opening ceremony, screenshotted and made bad jokes about it so you didn’t have to. Here’s the run down (and follow us on Twitter for more of this is in the Games!)…

It became pretty clear early on that there would be a recurring theme…


Though the costuming was impressive…


…It became clear that while the children were smiling, they should actually be cowering in fear of the giant bird-person looming over them.


And that was when the strange hats began.



And that brought us to the athletes! There was one – and only one – big question on our lips.


Then this happened. In hindsight, in was inevitable…


The Americans held up the stereotype of the Millennial generation.


This was confusing:


We enjoyed this:


And of course this:


There was no team Russia of course, but there was…



And then more hats again!


The Americans were keen to keep warm.


And the Jamaicans were upholding stereotypes.


As were the Colombians.


And the Canadians.


And then remember this?


Well then THIS happened:

A (sort of) famous musician appeared in an unexpected place.


The Koreas came together.


But made a bad start.


Then this dude came out and sang for a bit.


We got confused.


It got weird.


Boring stuff happened.


This guy sang ‘Imagine’, obviously.


And then back to the good stuff!

Right up until the finale. A good time had by all.

Now for the actual Winter Olympic sports! If you’ve caught the Olympic bug and want some longform features, head over to our Olympic Issue page now – there you’ll find a series of interviews, feature pieces and profiles relating to the Pyeongchang Games. Get stoked!

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