Last night, the small province of PyeongChang took the world by storm as it hosted the Opening Ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
It is well-documented by now that the Koreans have placed a major emphasis on the theme of unity and its signifance surrounding the Games.
On this night, though, unity seemed to be much more than just a theme.
Mid-way through the ceremony, Olympians from all 92 countries began to make the coveted walk out to the roars of the Olympic Stadium, each led by an esteemed flag bearer.
There were plenty of memorable moments to keep the internet busy.
The Nigerians are represented by their bobsled team for the first time in the country’s history.
The Russians entered the stadium led by a neutral Olympic flag hoisted in the air. They sported plain white uniforms with no sign of the country’s flag. This, of course, is a direct result of Russia’s doping scandal.
Pita, the shirtless Tongan who took social media by storm at Rio’s Closing Ceremony nearly two years ago, makes his Winter Olympics debut in cross-country skiing.
He carried his country’s flag out while shirtless and in sandals, naturally.
The USA broke a Winter Olympic record qualifying a grand total of 242 athletes. Erin Hamlin served as flag bearer.
The defining moment of the Opening Ceremony came when the 92nd and final team made its historic march.
The North and South Koreans entered the stadium under one unified flag. Together.
As conflicted Koreans digested this powerful gesture, the rest of the world was introduced to North Korean civilians in the most epic of ways.
I had a chance to take all of this in with several of my new local Korean friends.
This is what I tweeted during the ceremony:
“Both North & South Koreans marching together. Hard to describe this moment. My new Korean friends I’m with are completely silent. Taking in every second. Hands covering their mouths. #OpeningCeremony”
Historic. Surreal. Emotional. Captivating. The 2018 Winter Olympics.
Buckle up. It’s about to be a magical 18 days at PyeongChang 2018.
Consider following along while I’m on the ground:
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