Tags: OLY | Pyeongchang | Olympics

Olympic Opening Ceremonies Begin in Pyeongchang

Image: Olympic Opening Ceremonies Begin in Pyeongchang
Fireworks mark the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. (Getty Images)

Friday, 09 Feb 2018 06:26 AM

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The opening ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have begun with a round of sparkling fireworks exploding just above a seemingly delighted North Korean cheering delegation.

With taekwondo demonstrations from both Koreas, South Korea is putting on a frigid show for the world that's meant to display a newfound desire to cooperate with the North along with Seoul's stunning rise from poverty and war to Asian powerhouse.

A huge crowd gathered in the freezing Olympics Stadium in this isolated, mountainous corner of South Korea.

There will be plenty of sporting drama for both die-hard snow and ice junkies and the once-every-four-years enthusiast.

But the athletic aspect of these games has been overshadowed by the stunning cooperation of the rival Korea, who were flirting with war just weeks ago.

As expected, it was very cold and breezy for the opening ceremonies at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

Pyeongchang is situated in the mountains in the northeastern part of South Korea, about 50 miles from the border with North Korea.

It's known for brutal cold and harsh winds during the winter. Fans and athletes will be left largely exposed to the elements, though organizers are giving the 35,000 fans heated seat cushions, hand warmers and other gear to help ease the chilly conditions.

The good news is that the weather could have been worse.

It was about 32 degrees (0 Celsius) in Pyeongchang on Friday night, which is tolerable compared to temperatures that have dropped to near zero (-18 Celsius) in recent days.

The five-sided 35,000-seat stadium cost about $100 million to build, but its primary use is for only four events: The opening and closing ceremonies for both the Olympics and Paralympics. Then it will be torn down and the site will be rebuilt with a museum and leisure facilities.

Members of the North Korean delegation are sitting in seats in the upper deck, cheering for the North Korean taekwondo team performing in the center of the stadium.

The entire Pyeongchang Olympics could cost South Korea up to 14 trillion won ($12.9 billion). South Korea is hosting the games for the first time since 1988, when Seoul was the home of the summer games.

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The opening ceremonies for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have begun with a round of sparkling fireworks exploding just above a seemingly delighted North Korean cheering delegation. With taekwondo demonstrations from both Koreas, South...
OLY, Pyeongchang, Olympics
366
2018-26-09
Friday, 09 Feb 2018 06:26 AM
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