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(Olympics) PyeongChang Olympics' opening ceremony shines with splendid Korean culture of peace, harmony

2018/02/09 22:50

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By Kim Boram

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- At the count of 10, all lights turned off. The open door stadium filled with roars and camera flashes as the numbers clicked down one by one.

With the bell ringing, the world's biggest winter sports festival began at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on Friday.

Along with five children leading the adventure, the 35,000 spectators also started a journey into South Korean history, full of cultural treasures shown in 3D computer graphics.

A white tiger, a sacred animal, marched in and turned the stadium into the mountain area where Korean people have resided peacefully for thousands of years.

There stood four guardians that protect the four cardinal directions in Korean mythology, surrounded by 10 precious animals and plants that symbolize longevity and everlasting youth.

Women dressed in ancient Goguryeo costumes came out to dance along with the children, animals and plants, as the peaceful festival for everyone and every living thing went on.

With the world having become peaceful, the stadium was covered with lights of shining stars in accordance with the ancient constellations.

The opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics takes place at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap) The opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics takes place at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap)

After performances of Korean traditional percussions, the South Korean national flag entered the stadium to herald the beginning of the country's first Winter Olympics.

The Parade of Athletes was followed in a more festive mode, but also in line with the whole theme of the performance: peace and harmony in the world.

Korean pop songs, such as "Hand in Hand," the official 1988 Seoul Olympic song by Koreana, and Psy's Gangnam Style were played as background music to boom up the arena and make the audience, quivering in freezing wind, move and dance.

The traditional song, "Arirang," was the climax for the ceremony as the joint team of South and North Koreas showed up at the tail of the parade.

The mood changed again. As quiet "Jeongseon Arirang," sang by an old man, faded, the time travel passed through the present and the future.

A mass game of glittering LED portals and laser beam shows demonstrated that people live in an interconnected world of the future and keep contact with another unknown world.

Digital arts of laser beams show at the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap) Digital arts of laser beams show at the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap)

And five children lit their candles and their candlelights went on and on to their families and the whole stadium. One thousand residents of PyeongChang and its surrounding area of Gangwon Province created the dove of peace with candles to wish for peace on earth, while John Lennon's "Imagine" was sung by four South Korean singers.

Finally, the peace journey came to an end as a group of skiers and snowboarders slid down the slope over the stadium, with the off-the-wall LED Olympic rings brightening in the air.

After the Olympic Flame was lit by South Korean figure skating star Kim Yu-na, another fire performance of friendly goblins, or dokkaebi, and colorful fireworks lightened and warmed up the stadium to announce the curtain raising of the 17-day Olympic Winter Games.

Fireworks display over PyeongChang Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap) Fireworks display over PyeongChang Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap)

brk@yna.co.kr

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