You’ve probably had your fill of Winter Olympic wonder moments by now – the sheer prowess and will power of athletes has been astounding to say the least. There’s breakout star Chloe Kim claiming halfpipe Gold, the American women’s ice hockey team edging fierce rivals Canada – for the first time in four tries – to win their first-ever Olympic Gold, and who can forget Marit Bjoergen becoming the most decorated Winter Olympian ever with a stupefying 14 medals. But athleticism aside, the Olympics – summer or winter – have always been about so much more: celebration, revelry, the spirit of the humanity as a whole. And PyeongChang 2018 didn’t disappoint with its share of timeless off-game Olympic moments.
Opening Ceremony and Closing Ceremony
As far as the Olympics go, the pressure of hosting a spectacular opening and closing ceremony is often as high as that of winning medals – almost an ego trip for countries to outdo each other. Needless to say, PyeongChang didn’t disappoint. The country that gave us Gangnam Style in 2012, introduced the world to 13-year old wonderkid Yang Tae-hwan who performed guitar impressions of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. This was topped by K-pop band EKO who within 2 minutes of taking stage became the number one trending hashtag worldwide on Twitter. From the unofficial Russian convoy to the resurgence of the shirtless Tongan, the traditional athlete’s parade too had its fair share of clickable moments.
The Unified Korean Flag
A lot of media mileage leading up the Winter Olympics was spent on the tense geo-political situation across the Korean borders. The two nations have not been the friendliest neighbours since they split in 1945. But the most heartwarming moment at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games was at the end of the athletes parade when both North and South Korean teams agreed to walk under the unified Korean banner – a historic first, met with roaring applause from the 35,000 large crowd. Goes to show that perhaps there is hope for peace between the two nations after all.
North Korean Cheerleaders
Although media outlets warned the Olympic Committee that North Korea would use any opportunity afforded to propagandize the regime, there was nothing going to stop the red coats and their onslaught of charm. Little is known about the fabled 230 member cheerleader contingent from North Korea except that each member is handpicked after strenuous loyalty tests to be the face of the regime at foreign gatherings. From synchronized chants and meticulously matching outfits, they came, they saw, and they conquered hearts around the globe.
The Cute and the Quirky
Sometimes it’s the small moments that make the biggest news, and bring even bigger smiles. The cute? Gus Kenworthy – he may have missed adding to his medal chest from Sochi, but a historic kiss with his boyfriend created bigger ripples back home; the first openly gay moment in Winter Olympic lore. Quirky? The Garlic Girls – a moniker for the renowned export from their hometowns, the South Korean Curling Team gained international fame for not just their blitzkrieging run to the finals of Women’s Curlinging Championships, but also their adorable, entertaining personalities. And to top it all of how can we ever forget the wonderfully unsightly trousers of Norway’s curling team.
There you have it – a comprehensive guide to Winter Olympics 2018 pop culture. Think we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.
Isaac is currently in the middle of an existential crisis, contemplating the profound and profane in equal earnest. All he says to describe himself right now is that he’s yet to read Miss Laila, Armed and Dangerous. Stalk him on Instagram at your own behest.
PS: Twin Peaks references will be entertained.