By Korea.net PyeongChang Olympics Team
Video = Kim Sunjoo
Photos = Jeon Han
Pyeongchang | Feb. 9, 2018
The much-anticipated PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony has officially begun.
On Feb. 9, the streets leading up to PyeongChang’s Olympic Stadium were buzzing with incredible energy. Despite the frosty temperatures, athletes and their families, as well as Olympic organizers and regular spectators, were full of excitement, waiting in line by the Olympic Plaza.
Everyone had their reason for coming to Pyeongchang for the Games, but they had one thing in common: they had come to join in the global festival.
There were families that had come to support their sons, daughters, sisters and brothers who are participating in the PyeongChang Olympics. Among the crowd were badge collectors, journalists and organizers from around the world. Korea.net took the opportunity to talk to some people on the streets in the hours leadings up the Opening Ceremony.
The enthusiasm of families supporting their loved ones at the Olympics was hard to miss.Parents and siblings of Canadian luger Mitchel Malyk were decked out in support of their number one Olympian. “The Olympics is a truly awesome event because you can see world cultures coming together as one. Tomorrow is our son’s first match, so please give him your support,” said John Malyk, father of the Canadian luger.
At the Olympic Plaza, it was easy to see some amazing Olympic fanatics, too.
Isa Dursan from Turkey, who said PyeongChang was her 12th Olympics, said that, “The Games are a meeting place for the world’s cultures. I have tickets to see the ice hockey, ski jump and biathlon events,” he said.
Korea.net was able to meet an avid pin collector from the U.S., too. Douglas Todd from San Diego has been to every Olympic event since the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics. Todd, who now has more than 100,000 Olympic pins in his collection, said that he had managed to get his hands on the Olympic mascot Soohorang at this year’s Olympics.
People were keen to see the inter-Korean team march into the Opening Ceremony together. They were also curious about the final torch bearer in the Olympic relay.
Munkhbayar Damdinsuren from Mongolia said that he looked forward to the inter-Korean team’s entrance, while Asaad Mahmoud from the U.S. said that he was really looking forward to the Opening Ceremony, and hoped to take back many good memories from this year’s Olympics.
Chen Cheng, a Chinese singer and cosmetics company CEO who was chosen as a PyeongChang torchbearer, said that he was very honored to take part in the ceremony. “I hope that Team China performs well in PyeongChang. I also look forward to meeting everyone again in China for the 2022 Winter Olympics,” he added.
French NOC Secretary General Jean-Michel Yves Brun said, “I’ve visited many countries around the world, but Pyeongchang has been especially welcoming. I’m positive that a country like Korea, with such creativity, will put on a show worth remembering for the Opening Ceremony.”