2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony: Everything You Need to Know

Action gets underway in South Korea, for the 2018 Winter Olympics. MediaPunch / BACKGRID

The 2018 Winter Olympics are here! The games will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, for the first time and will kick off on Friday, February 9, with the Opening Ceremony.

Us Weekly has rounded up the details about how and when to watch the big event, and everything else you need to know about the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony.

When Does It Start?

The 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony will start at 8 p.m. in PyeongChang, which is 6 a.m. ET on Friday, February 9, a day after the first official events take place. Viewers in the United States who wake up early will be able to stream the ceremony on NBCOlympics.com or on the NBC Sports app. NBC will also be airing the taped opening ceremony at 8 p.m. ET.

Who Is Hosting the Opening Ceremony?

Katie Couric and Mike Tirico are set to host the event for NBC. Couric headed to PyeongChang last week and has been posting Instagram updates on their preparations for the big show. She shared a behind-the-scenes photo of herself and her cohost at rehearsals on Saturday, February 3. “Rehearsing for the Opening Ceremony. Can’t post anything from it, but if tonight is any indication, it’s going to be spectacularly beautiful,” she captioned the snap. “Meanwhile so excited to sit next to these two pros!@miketiriconbc and Joshua Cooper Ramo.”

Who Is Carrying the Flag for the USA?

Olympic bronze medalist Erin Hamlin will be the flag bearer for Team USA during the opening ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics’ Parade of Nations. “It was a pretty big shock,” Hamlin told NBC about learning that she was voted by her teammates to carry the flag. “But it is an honor and a privilege to be recognized by all of Team USA.” This will be the 31-year-old’s fourth trip to the Olympics, and she will be leading 244 American athletes who will be competing during the games. It was also announced in January that North and South Korea agreed to march together under a “unified Korea” flag to symbolize unity between the two feuding nations.

Where Will the Opening Ceremony Take Place?

The opening and closing ceremonies will both take place at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium. The closing ceremony will air on Sunday, February 25. Viewers can watch it on NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

What Is Team USA Wearing During the Opening Ceremony?

Team USA unveiled its Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms for the opening ceremony in January. The fashion designer, who is known for his “All-American” style, designed a red, white and blue uniform for the athletes that will consist of a parka and a bomber jacket, with heating elements that last for up to 11 hours. The look also includes slim jeans with moto-inspired seaming, an intarsia-knit wool sweater, a navy wool hat, a USA bandanna, a leather belt, brown suede gloves and brown suede mountaineering boots with red laces.

What’s the Schedule Like for the Opening Ceremony?

The Telegraph reported that the opening ceremony is set to follow a similar schedule to that of the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi, Russia. See below for what to expect during the big event:

  1. Entry by the head of state
  2. Playing of the national anthem
  3. The parade of participants
  4. The symbolic release of pigeons
  5. The head of state declares the Games open
  6. Raising the Olympic flag and playing the Olympic anthem
  7. The taking of the Olympic oath by an athlete
  8. The taking of the Olympic oath by an official
  9. The taking of the Olympic oath by a coach
  10. The Olympic flame and the torch relay
  11. The artistic program

To learn more about Team USA, visit teamusa.org.

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