The Opening Ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympic Games Finds Poetry Amid the Politics

Variety | 2/9/2018 | Maureen Ryan
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The Olympic opening ceremony broadcast by NBC on Friday had dozens of agendas, and like an awards ceremony that takes three hours to hand out many awards — some of them a little bit boring — the broadcast had a few sags, weird segues and conflicting messages. And yet there was something lyrical and occasionally irresistible at the core of the enterprise.

In the spectacles that opened and closed the ceremony held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the symbol of a dove recurred again and again. Was the sense of aspiration the symbol inspired just the result of a masterful deployment of visual propaganda? Or is there really a reason to hope that the Korean peninsula — and the Olympic Games taking place there — will not be the site of the endgame of the human race?

Latter - Opening - Ceremony - Viewers - Hope

For those of us that want or need to believe the latter, the opening ceremony allowed viewers to latch on to that hope, if only for a few hours.

Of course, the ceremony also had to contend with many conflicting political realities. South Korean and North Korean athletes entered the stadium together, with just one word on the back of their coats: Korea. The show of unity was part of an array of peace efforts that seem both fragile and necessary, but as NBC commentators reminded viewers, North Korea is a repressive dictatorship. Katie Couric called it “barbaric and brutal.”

United - States - Relationship - Nation - Ceremony

And the United States’ frosty relationship with that nation played out during the ceremony as well: As the united Korean team entered the stadium, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife were sitting down (they had been on their feet and clapping for other parts of the ceremony, including the arrival of the United States team). Earlier, the Pences, who stood in front of Kim Jo-Yong, the sister...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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