I am in this Winter Olympics for the long haul, you guys, and I have fully accepted my sleep schedule is going to be fucked up as a result. This morning I set my alarm to wake up and watch the Opening Ceremony live on Eurosport, because even though NBC decided it would show some mercy by running a stream on its NBC Sports app, there was just natural sound and no commentary. They will, of course, be commentating tonight during the 8 p.m. re-broadcast on NBC, but this is a once in a lifetime, shooting star type of event! I don’t want to wait to watch something everyone on the planet has (in theory) already seen first! (I’M AN AMERICAN, GODDAMMIT!)
I will say, however, that I will likely watch again tonight, partially because I will feel superior in knowing what’s about to transpire at every moment, and partially because I can shame NBC for cutting out certain things (which they ALWAYS do), but mostly because (perhaps due to lack of sleep) I felt feels. There was a big emphasis on the future and working together towards the same goals (a non-shitty humanity, basically), and it just seems like this two weeks is going to be a breath of fresh air. At least I hope it will be.
So, why should you watch tonight? Well, I’m about to tell you some of my favorite (and least favorite) moments, and then maybe you can decide if you want to get in on the action. (Plus, the Tongan flag bearer was yet again shirtless, oiled up and in a grass skirt. That alone should be reason enough to tune in.)
Also, sorry for the photo quality you’re about to experience below // early morning IG stories leave a lot to be desired re: visuals, but it’s better than nothing at all!
For starters, let’s just talk about how Korea fucking won NYFW:
Strong show re: styling, you guys. Also strong show re: unity! North Korea and South Korea walked together, and I may or may not have gotten a little emotional:
All of the participating countries were introduced by name, except for Russia; the participants were referred to simply as “athletes of Russia” since, technically, Russia is not allowed to take part as a nation. Oddly, Mike Pence did not wave to the athletes of Russia. He did, however, wave to the United States, who walked in during “Gangnam Style”. Ordinarily this would have been p. tight, but ol’ Mikey P. had to go and spoil it:
Speaking of the soundtrack, V. V. V. STRONG! If there is one thing better than Korean food, it’s K-pop, and there was no shortage of that during the parade.
Once everyone had taken a lap, Korea launched into its interpretive dance portion (I’m sure that this has a specific official name, but I like interpretive dance portion) featuring a combination of live-action and pre-recorded elements. There was a heavy emphasis on the future, especially via the Black Mirror-esque bit where Korean children walk through a portal into adulthood; there they become things like high-tech doctors and robot engineers and smart classroom teachers. It was a little creepy, if I’m being honest, but the IDP (which is how I will now refer to interpretive dance portion) typically goes like that.
In case you were unable to pick up on the fact that the big theme here was the future, the floor became illuminated with the word “FUTURE” in many different languages. We get it, Korea. The robot revolution is on our doorstep.
Then there was the part where people danced with what appeared to be IKEA wardrobes. I didn’t find this part to be all that impressive, but I did enjoy imagining a reality where a Broadway musical about LACK tables exists:
I fell pretty hard for the performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, where illuminated silhouettes of two doves on either side of the stage suddenly came together to form one bird (V. SYMBOLIC, Y’ALL!), which was then filled in with more lights. Like I said earlier, there was definitely tugging at my heartstrings, and I started to tear up again. This continued when there were snowboarders and skiers slaloming down a mountain with flares and LED lights; at the bottom, they formed the Olympic rings, and I thought that made up for the weird IKEA show earlier.
Speeches (the official declaration of the Olympics being open for business, a warning not to take illegal drugs, etc.), fireworks and a few more performances continued, but everything above was (I thought) the best stuff about the 2018 Opening Ceremony. As I say, I will likely watch it again tonight. If you think you’ll tune in after this rambling endorsement, and you want to play a drinking game, here are five rules that you can use to get started:
- drink every time a blatant reference (verbal or visual) to futurism is made
- drink anytime a country has less than five people marching in the parade
- drink whenever the flag bearer looks like he/she wants to die
- hold hands and drink the entire time that North and South Korea march in the parade as one
- double-drink every time Mike Pence is shown
HERE’S TO ALL OF THE WINTER SPORTS AND ALL OF THE HOPE FOR HUMANITY!