Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Winter Olympics ceremony sees landmark handshake

South Korean president shakes hands with North Korean leader's sister during opening ceremony.

Loud cheers greeted the South and North Korean teams

The 23rd Winter Olympic Games are set to officially kick off with the opening ceremony at the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.

Spectators, athletes and officials were welcomed to the chiming of bells as a ceremony titled "Peace in Motion" got under way in the 35,000-seated Pyeongchang Olympic stadium.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, who landed at the Incheon airport of Friday, was seen shaking hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the opening ceremony.

In a rare show of unity, athletes from South and North Korea will march together under a "unification flag". 

Earlier, a high-level North Korean delegation, led by Kim's sister arrived for a three-day visit.

For the next 17 days, an estimated 2,952 athletes from 92 countries will be competing for Olympic medals in 102 events across 15 different sports.

Some sporting events, like curling and ski jumping, started on Thursday.

'Peace Olympics'

This is the first time South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympics and it is the country's second Olympic event after the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. 

Residents say that they are proud and excited to be hosting the Olympics again.

Many feel the Pyeongchang Games are a "good opportunity to promote South Korea". 

"I hope that with North Korean athletes' participation this could be a Peace Olympics. And I hope we can achieve reunification between the South and the North," one spectator in Gangneung said. 

Another said: "Regardless of North Korea's participation, the Olympics should be a festival."

There has been an apparent thaw in relations between North and South Korea in recent weeks.

The two neighbours resumed cross-border talks last month.

In what was described as a major diplomatic breakthrough, North Korea said it would send a delegation of athletes and performers to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.

North Korea staged a relatively toned down military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of its armed forces in its capital on Thursday.

Russians lose appeal

A last-minute appeal by 41 Russian athletes and coaches to take part in the games was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday.

The Russians appealed against their exclusion by the International Olympic Committee, over the 2014 doping scandal at the Sochi Games.

Meanwhile, almost 170 Russian athletes have been cleared to compete, but since their country is banned, they will be flying a neutral Olympic flag.

The games, which cost an estimated $12.5bn, will run from February 9 to 25.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Statue of footballer Mo Salah draws...

Read More

Royal honour for Leicester City own...

Read More

FIFA hints at expanding Qatar 2022 ...

Read More

'Arrogant' Cricket Australia slamme...

Read More

Leicester City owner Vichai's helic...

Read More

Leicester City owner 'on board when...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News


Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:



Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid