Olympics Opening Ceremony 2018: Performers, Announced Flag-Bearers and More

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2018

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 05:  A taekwondo performer demonstrates a cultural performance during the opening ceremony of the 132nd IOC session ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 5, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

The 2018 Winter Olympics get underway at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on Friday, where the opening ceremony marks the beginning of a showcase seven years in the making.

South Korea will open its doors to myriad nations from across the globe, each of whom has travelled to Pyeongchang with the objective of emerging atop the medal standings come the end of the competition.

The competition will be fierce, but the opening ceremony will provide a calm before the storm comprising the traditional Parade of Nations, along with performances illustrating the culture of the host country.

Below is a list of flag-bearers already announced ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony, complete with a preview of what we might expect at the Olympics Stadium kick-off.

              

Date: Friday, February 9

Time: 11 a.m. GMT/ 6 a.m. ET

TV Info: BBC Two (UK), Eurosport (UK), NBC Sports (U.S.)

Live Stream: Eurosport Player (UK), NBCOlympics.com (U.S.)

               

Announced Flag-Bearers

Albania: Suella Mehelli, Alpine Skiing

Andorra: Irineu Esteve Altimiras, Cross-country Skiing

Austria: Anna Veith, Alpine Skiing

Azerbaijan: Peter Brachner, Alpine Skiing

Belgium: Seppe Smits, Snowboarding

Bolivia: Simon Breitfuss Kammerlander, Alpine Skiing

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Elvedina Muzaferija, Alpine Skiing

Brazil: Edson Bindilatti, Bobsleigh

Bulgaria: Radoslav Yankov, Snowboarding

Canada: Tessa Vue and Scott Moir, Figure Skating

Chile: Henrik von Appen, Alpine Skiing

Croatia: Natko Zrncic-Dim, Alpine Skiing

Czeck Republic: Eva Samkova, Snowboarding

Denmark: Elena Moller Rigas, Speed Skating

Ecuador: Klaus Jungbluth Rodriguez, Cross-country Skiing

Eritrea: Shannon Ogbani-Abeda, Alpine Skiing

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Stavre Jada, Cross-country Skiing

France: Martin Fourcade, Biathlon

Israel: Alexei Bychenko, Figure skating

Italy: Arianna Fontana, Short Track Speed Skating

Japan: Noriaki Kasai, Ski Jumping

Kazakhstan: Abzal Azhgaliyev, Short Track Speed Skating

Kosovo: Albin Tahiri, Alpine Skiing

Latvia: Daumants Dreiskens, Bobsleigh

Lithuania: Tomas Kaukena, Biathlon

Malaysia: Julian Yee, Figure skating

Mexico: Sarah Schleper, Alpine Skiing

Monaco: Rudy Rinaldi, Bobsleigh

Mongolia: Achbadarkh Batmunkh, Cross-country Skiing

Netherlands: Jan Smeekens, Speed Skating

Norway: Emil Hegle Svendsen, Biathlon

Olympic Athletes From Russia: IOC Volunteer

Poland: Zbigniew Brodka, Speed Skating

Romania: Marius Ungueranu, Biathlon

San Marino: Alessandro Mariotti, Alpine Skiing

Serbia: Nevena Ignjatovic, Alpine Skiing

Slovakia: Veronika Velez-Zuzulova, Alpine Skiing

Slovenia: Vesna Fabjan, Cross-country Skiing

Spain: Lucas Eguibar, Snowboarding

Taiwan: Lien Te-An, Luge

Tonga: Pita Taufatofua

            

Preview

The organisers of the 2018 Winter Olympics have done their bit to ensure many details surrounding the opening ceremony, including information on which acts are performing, have remained secret, according to Tamar Herman of Billboard.com.

However, Herman cited reports from Korean outlet YTN Star and newspaper Korea Joongang Daily that appeared to reveal two opening-ceremony acts ahead of Friday’s curtain-raiser.

Ha Hyun Woo, lead singer of South Korean indie rock band Guckkasten, and Ahn Ji-young, one half of female K-Pop duo Bolbbalgan4 (also known as Bolbbalgan Sachungi), are both set to perform.

The official motto of the 2018 Winter Olympics has been advertised as "Passion. Connected." while the opening ceremony theme will be peace.

Korean R&B singer Insooni is responsible for the Winter Games' official torch relay track and theme "Let Everyone Shine," which Kim Dae-hyun, Pyeongchang 2018 Director General of Culture and Ceremonies, described to the official Olympic website as in keeping with that motif of peace:

“Insooni’s performance tonight of ‘Let Everyone Shine’ was a great way to launch the theme that will unite the nation and help share the Olympic spirit, as the Olympic flame makes its way across Korea from 1 November this year. She sang it with great passion and connected with the crowd celebrating the 200-days-to-go milestone of the Olympic Winter Games."

As for flag-bearers set to lead out their respective nations at the Olympic Stadium, there are many countries still yet to officially announce who will serve as their mascot in the venue.

Barring any late duo entries, Canadian figure skaters Tessa Vue and Scott Moir will be the only pair to serve as flag-bearers.

Vogue recently confirmed hosts South Korea and neighbouring North Korea will march under the same banner at this year’s games, serving as a distraction to the "recent charged-up rhetoric" regarding the region.

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