The opening ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will soon be underway. Below The Mainichi takes a brief look at some of the Olympic opening events of years gone by.
Question: What kinds of themes have been incorporated into past opening ceremonies?
Answer: We have witnessed some striking performances in past ceremonies. At the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics, the opening ceremony emphasized Japanese culture by showing traditional events from Nagano Prefecture's Suwa region and having sumo wrestlers perform a stately ring entrance ceremony. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, culture and history relating to the Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union were portrayed through dance and other performances. Performers wore a variety of costumes, promoting the diversity of the Russian people.
Q: How about the Summer Olympics?
A: At the opening ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil, the country with the largest tropical rain forest in the world, athletes placed tree seeds into pots, as a message against global warming.
For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government sent cloud seeding rockets into the sky to induce early rainfall before the tournament, in an attempt to ensure favorable weather for the rest of the games.
Q: What about this time?
A: At the Pyeongchang opening ceremony, the delegations of South Korea and North Korea will proceed together. The first time the two countries walked together during an opening ceremony was at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, and the last time was at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. North Korea did not take part in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Olympic opening ceremonies trigger all kinds of speculation, intentions and expectations, ranging from the athletes' marches to the various performances. (By Taro Iiyama, Sports News Department)