The PyeongChang Olympics have officially begun, and already there’s confusion among casual viewers about the Opening Ceremony.
The 2018 Olympic Opening Ceremony hosted nearly 3,000 athletes from 92 countries, hitting the highest mark in the history of the Winter Olympics for participants. This incredible number makes the parade of nations a highlight of the ceremony. Every participating country, and technically even one non-participating country, are announced to the world and given the opportunity to wave their country’s flag proudly while donning their country’s colors, in this case in the form of heavy parkas, winter hats and gloves.
But in what order? Alphabetical? By continent?
The Opening Ceremony can be a lengthy endeavor, sometimes lasting three or more hours, making for a lot to take in as a viewer. The history of the parade of nations dates back to the 1908 London Games with the rules for the procession being established in 1928 at the Amsterdam Games.
There are three main rules that dictate the order of the countries during the procession:
- Greece marches first, in honor of the fact that the Olympics have their origin in ancient Greece.
- The host nation goes last. This year at Pyeongchang, the South and North Korean delegation marched together under the unified Korean flag.
- The remaining countries are ordered alphabetically in the language of the host nation. In the case of the Pyeongchang games, that will be Korean.
Inside the stadium, the announcers announce each country’s name in English, French and the dominant language of the area of the host city.
Erin Hamlin carries the flag of the United States delegation in PyeongChang. (AP)
In 2018 the United States leads the way in team size with 242 athletes, followed by Canada with 226 and then Switzerland with 171. Subsequently, the countries of Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Cyprus, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Singapore, San Marino, Tonga and the Democratic Republic of Timo-Leste post 17 athletes combined.
Here’s the full list and order of the parade of nations:
|Position||Country||Country name in Korean|
|3||The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||구유고슬라비아 마케도니아 공국|
|5||South Africa||남아리카 공국|
|11||Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste||동모르|
|13||Olympic Athletes from Russia||러시아 출신 올림 선수|
|25||Republic of Moldova||몰도바|
|28||United States of America||미국|
|32||Bosnia and Herzegovina||보스니아 르체고비나|
|59||Islamic Republic of Iran||이란|
|66||People’s Republic of China||중국|
|67||Chinese Taipei||차이니스 이베이|
|90||Hong Kong, China||콩|
As for the rest of the ceremony, South Korea unveiled the brand new $109 million Olympic stadium to the public for the first time during the 2018 Opening Ceremony, and as far as a hundred million-dollar stadiums go, it seemed nice.
The high price tag for the structure breaks down into a $27.25 million per event cost of construction, considering the plans for using the stadium consist of four total events. By the end of the Opening Ceremony, the structure will have lived 25 percent of its life and cost more than several Olympic Games participating countries are worth.
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