Special Event: 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang: Opening Ceremony
February 8, 2018 10:52 PM - Subscribe

Hop in here for discussion of the Opening Ceremonies, which will be streamed live as they happen in just a few hours, and will also be shown on delay during US Friday evening primetime.

Also this is a good place for early general Olympics chatter, and we can put up a more general post after they're officially started.
posted by LobsterMitten (75 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is anyone else watching? Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller?
posted by pianissimo at 4:31 AM on February 9


I mean, I could talk about the geopolitical implications of North and South Korea competing together at these games, and whether sport is the thing that could finally reunite those countries .

But since it's apparently only me here, I'll just say: boy, that Tongan flag bearer must have been freezing, but I fully support, and appreciate, his choice.

Also the drone formations were really cool.
posted by pianissimo at 4:55 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I really liked this opening ceremony. It was enjoyable and surprising without being a complete ball of random. I liked the jumps into the future, nice to see a utopia for once.
posted by Kattullus at 6:11 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Let's not forget the Bermudians for their cold-weather fortitude as well.
posted by hydrobatidae at 6:28 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Yes! I like seeing countries from warmer climes being part of the winter Olympics. And if they're there, they can win. Anything can happen.
posted by pianissimo at 7:34 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]




I confess I did wake up at 5am Chicago time to watch the live stream. It's a beautiful presentation, but it will be nice to watch again later with at least some commentary to help with the context for the creature puppets and stuff.
posted by dnash at 8:56 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I was going to stay up and watch if we had a shutdown... but then the Senate passed the CR before 2 AM so i figured it was going to go through and went to bed so I could be at work at a reasonable time.

I really admire all these little island countries finding a way to train and compete in snow events. Good for them!
posted by numaner at 9:28 AM on February 9


That was great! Nigeria's outfits were my favorite. I have to say I was mildly disturbed by the futuristic utopia, except for the charmingly pudgy teacher with the joyous animated calligraphy.

And I don't care what anyone says; the quartet of singers doing 'Imagine' was fantastically kitsch while somehow still being earnest; it sounded acoustic-y, almost, like it would sound if you were singing it with people who weren't the greatest singers ever (the Olympic Anthem lady having covered that!).

Also: v adorable seeing the Korean athletes stand as Thomas Bach (who got a bit lost!) took the stage for his speech!

Overall: A++, would watch again. It'll never be London 2012, but it's got its own lovely vibe and the precision was incredible.
posted by mdonley at 9:43 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I'll be tuning into the primetime coverage tonight--so thank you very much to alerting me to hot shirtless Tongan to look for!
posted by TwoStride at 9:57 AM on February 9


The tracksuits looked a lot more... uh... something you'd wear outside a rave than the polychrome fleece and puffy jackets on previous events. The jury is still out if that's a bad or a good thing, because if my eyes aren't bleeding by then end, they they're doing something wrong.

On the plus side, in here it's finally on EuroSport after 4 year of terrible premium TV broadcasts. Both their channels are on full-Olympics mode, but I was almost tempted to sign their streaming service (€7/mo) to get the full monty.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:36 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The BBC are showing it second time around just now. Amused at the USA coming in as Gangnam Style plays.
posted by Wordshore at 11:37 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]




I'm sad that the NBCOlympics schedule is over-tabletized.
posted by rhizome at 1:15 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I wish it wasn't on so late! I guess the 7 pm hour is all locked up but I'd love to watch it "live" with my kids. Recording so we can watch tomorrow!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:56 PM on February 9


Really hoping Leslie Jones will be commentating on the parade of nations because her Olympic coverage is so amazing
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:00 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Really hoping Leslie Jones will be commentating on the parade of nations because her Olympic coverage is so amazing

thiiiiiiis and excited for figure skating commentary from Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir!
posted by lalex at 5:08 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


All righty, US prime-time opening ceremonies kicking off and I'm here for it! ESPECIALLY the part where I don't have to listen to Matt Lauer's stupid-ass "Djibouti" joke for the five billionth time. And all his other stupid-ass jokes about small nations.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:11 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


So, since there wasn’t much else on, I decided to go ahead and watch NBC’s delayed broadcast of the opening ceremonies. But, of course, NBC can’t just show the damned ceremonies. Mike Tirico and Katie Couric doing a tortured pre-game full of politics and threats that they might eventually get around to the opening ceremonies. They’re in their second commercial break already, and no show in sight.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:12 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


YES high-five for a Matt Lauer free opening ceremony
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:13 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Third commercial break. Still no ceremonies.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:20 PM on February 9


I'll just say this: the live stream I watched this morning lasted about 2 hours and 17 minutes, from 5am to 7:17am. NBC has a 3 hour block on the schedule tonight, so they have some room to include some other stuff.
posted by dnash at 5:25 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Fourth break. No ceremonies. They claim it’s coming after the break.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:26 PM on February 9


This is the first time my 6-year-old has been allowed to stay up for opening ceremonies and he's already pretty ticked off at NBC taking forever to get to it!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:26 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I'm only just tuning in to the primetime re-air and I'm staggered at the naked jingoism and completely tone deaf cultural ignorance of the announce booth crew. Aldo didn't Tarico proposition multiple colleagues? Why is his sexual predator ass on my TV?
posted by ob1quixote at 5:34 PM on February 9


Ok, I am not a fan of the US Cavalry style of the gloves for the US team uni, ugh.

figure skating commentary from Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir!

OMG Tara and Johnny were wearing the most amazing and beautifully coordinated outfits last night.
posted by TwoStride at 5:49 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


"OMG Tara and Johnny were wearing the most amazing and beautifully coordinated outfits last night."

They do this for every event, and sometimes they coordinate their hairstyles! I love them so much.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:53 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Why is it so quiet as the athletes enter the stadium? It’s throwing me off.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:54 PM on February 9


Currently watching Norway vs Finland at curling and it's turned up to volume 11 in terms of silent Scandinavian intensity.
posted by Wordshore at 5:55 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


On another note, where’s the naked jingoism? I was promised naked jingoism!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 5:58 PM on February 9


I was promised naked jingoism!
Tonga hasn't marched yet.
posted by TwoStride at 6:05 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


Ah! Fair enough.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:08 PM on February 9


I don’t know how much money Bob Costas wants, but this broadcast is terrible. Double it and get him over there, along with the people who actually know how to do the graphics.

It didn’t help that Comcast lost the ability to transmit NBC both before and after I rebooted my DVR.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:18 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I stand mildly corrected. They paused the parade of nations to talk more about team USA, now through the power of tape delay they have picked it up where it left off.

Oh hi Bermuda. I hope your nose doesn’t freeze off.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:21 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The USOC really needs to get a new outfit designer, every Olympics I now wonder, "Why does Tommy Hilfinger hate America?"

I am down with the Bermuda shorts! (My husband is horrified.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:22 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Nigeria looked great, Germany looked totally dull.

I wish they would get commentators who actually seemed familiar with/fans of winter sports instead of these two who are basically just always describing everything as "like NASCAR on snow" and then reading random Wiki facts about the country/athlete.
posted by TwoStride at 6:25 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The commentary is dull. Get Fred Willard out there!
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:28 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I think the US outfits are Ralph Lauren but I'm not a fan. Would love to see another great American sportswear designer, like Calvin Klein or Kors, get a shot.
posted by lalex at 6:29 PM on February 9


So far I'm most impressed with the Korean dancers forming the circle in the arena who have kept up their energy in what must seem like the world's most awkward rave.
posted by TwoStride at 6:31 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


(Oh, right, brain fart, Ralph Lauren. That's what I get for chatting about Olympics while modding the politics thread. :P )
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:35 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I always love the parade of nations but this is weirdly low energy. But I like seeing all the puffy coats.
posted by PussKillian at 6:36 PM on February 9


I like the US outfits, except for the gloves. Those are awful and don't fit with the rest.

Something about how the LED lights are positioned among the seats makes the stands look empty, because it's hard to see the people there. I think that's part of why the energy feels low - that and the music is drowning out any crowd noise.
posted by dnash at 6:43 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Is there any significance behind the country signs being on branches? It's an interesting look.

Jamaica for the Best Entrance win.
posted by Fig at 6:45 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Ok, Jamaica was great, and I love the name of the women's bobsled ("Mr Cool-Bolt," apparently).
posted by TwoStride at 6:46 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Jamaica for the Best Entrance win.

Wait for Tonga before you make that call.
posted by lalex at 6:47 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Fuuuck, forgot about Tonga , hahahaha. Soon!

I liked the open jacket, hated the gloves for US. They all looked like they were having a blast though,which was contagious.
posted by Fig at 6:54 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Heh, the crowd loves Tonga! And I am definitely getting my K-pop fix tonight.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:55 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Ok, I did like how Katie(?) was all, "I'll handle this one, Mike" when the Tongan entered.
posted by TwoStride at 6:57 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


He is so shiny!!!!!
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:57 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I don't understand the USA gloves and I don't care for the sweater in this context. It reads as "opening a fine bottle of wine in my ski chalet in Aspen" instead of "world-class athlete" but I grew up in a town filled with people who have ski chalets in Aspen so maybe being a bit too sensitive.
posted by lalex at 6:59 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


My aunt referred to them as "Hamburglar gloves" and now that's all I can see.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:00 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I'm sure we talked about this last Olympics, but I don't recall: what determines when places like Puerto Rico and Hong Kong compete as their own countries rather than as part of their larger polity?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:03 PM on February 9


This thing with the two Koreas walking in together - as meaningful as it is supposed to be, I can't help feeling it's rather an empty gesture because I don't see any way the Korean peninsula becomes one country while anyone in the government of North Korea is around.
posted by dnash at 7:08 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


The speech is kinda long-winded to just say “Don’t forfeit! Don’t cheat!”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:27 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I was sad he left out the part about all the sex that the athletes also share in the Village...

Meanwhile, I loathe "Imagine."
posted by TwoStride at 7:29 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Ok, this thing now with the drones - when I saw this this morning I did not realize they were drones, I thought it was animation being overlaid on live video. It's pretty amazing.
posted by dnash at 7:35 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


The drones were impressive, yeah.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:36 PM on February 9


See, this is the real purpose for drones. Magical robotic fireflies to make you cry for indescribable reasons. Nothing more.
posted by danapiper at 7:38 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Oh my goodness that is a lot of stairs to jog up.
posted by Fig at 7:47 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


but extending/retracting fire ladder tube thing was awesome!
posted by Fig at 7:49 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


NBC Olympic commentator just quoted Otto Von Bismarck
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:00 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Yeah, when he was introduced he said some crap about, paraphrasing but just barely, "Will the joint Korean team signal a rapprochement between the two nations, or become a last good memory before the entire peninsula is engulfed in flames?" I want names of who approved these un-Olympic story-lines for the national prime time broadcast.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:16 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Mike Tirico and Katie Couric doing a tortured pre-game

They could not agree on how to pronounce "yang"

Is there any significance behind the country signs being on branches? It's an interesting look.

I had really hoped they'd make some big tree with them all, but I finally had to go home and go to bed before they end. They didn't do that, did they?
posted by jessamyn at 8:41 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Is this stadium really empty, or is just a trick of the lighting?
When they run the flags/country names over the seats, they seem hardly occupied, especially the upper sections.
posted by madajb at 9:11 PM on February 9


OMG, shut the hell up!

Can we crowd source a couple of billion dollars to take the Olympics away from NBC and give them to PBS?
posted by madajb at 10:20 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I note that near the end of the broadcast Tirico said the Opening Ceremony without any commentary would be up on the NBC website sometime tomorrow.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:45 PM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Little disappointed they didn't use those rocket roller skates to shoot up the ramp and light the cauldron.
posted by madajb at 10:57 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Some of the costumes from the opening ceremony. Though it's going to be difficult for any team to top the Mexican Alpine Team outfit.

(Very) early days yet, but the medal table has Nordic countries occupying the top three positions, which as a Scandi-fan is satisfying.
posted by Wordshore at 4:31 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Ah yes, NBC shoehorning in an American connection to each nation's athletes, rather than talking about the countries themselves. I mentioned this to my son while we were watching, and sure enough they'd mention only an athlete born, training, or going to school in the States. It was a chuckle at first, a laugh after the third, a head shake at the fifth one, and then we turned back to CBC's coverage... which was showing curling instead because national priorities.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:39 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


The only reason I enjoyed that (which I despise otherwise) was seeing how many of the "This person lives in the US but is on the Cyprus team" was seeing how many of them seemed to be from Vermont. We had a very fist-pumping time repping Vermont at the opener. I really wished they had basically any intel at all on people from the other teams, it was a shameful display of US lameness.
posted by jessamyn at 7:06 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


I don't mind the US connections so much because I do think it's fascinating from a financial standpoint if nothing else--in the summer Olympics it's especially telling that NCAA soccer, swimming, and track & field serve as Olympic training squads for a lot of international athletes...

Meanwhile, I just caught a glimpse of the most magnificent villain/hipster mustache on a Norwegian ski jumper.
posted by TwoStride at 7:29 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


Also, France is another country which seems to provide athletes for other nations, and I always think it's interesting to think about the stories of how this happens, whether it's adoption, immigration, marriage, a colonial legacy, or some combination of the above.
posted by TwoStride at 7:31 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


I opened a general all-sport Olympics thread, and we can split off separate threads as there's interest.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:18 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Wut ?
posted by Pendragon at 5:30 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


TIL that the Nazis invented the Olympics torch relay for the 1936 games. (And during World War II they invaded all of the countries the torch passed through.)
posted by kirkaracha at 9:14 AM on February 12


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