Winter Olympics: Six incredible moments from opening ceremony

Pita Taufatofua
Tongan Pita Taufatofua again made a memorable Olympic entrance

The opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics was mesmerising, high-tech, and, at times, poignant.

There were so many stand-out moments but we narrowed it down to six of the moments you will be talking about.

1. THAT handshake

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in shook hands with Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un- a moment of huge significance for both nations.

Her presence at the Games is being seen as a sign that Kim Jong-un is serious about improving ties with the South.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister

2. Russians - but not Russia

After an amazingly slick drumming section performed by an all-female group, who then formed the South Korean flag, the parade of nations began featuring plenty of colourful outfits and excited athletes.

Ghana
Skeleton athlete Akwasi Frimpong was the proud flagbearer for Ghana
Nigeria
Nigeria's athletes, who include Africa's first bobsled team, wore traditional headgear and danced into the arena

One notable absence from the parade was Russia who are banned from the Games, and the forthcoming Winter Paralympics, as a consequence of the 2016 McLaren report which found 1,000 of the country's sportspeople benefitted from state-sponsored doping.

However, there were 169 Russians who have been cleared to compete as neutral athletes under the banner of 'Olympic athletes from Russia'.

They will fly the Olympic flag rather than the Russian one and wore neutral grey and white uniforms during the opening ceremony.

Olympic Athletes from Russia

3. North and South Korea marched as one nation

In an emotional and historical moment, the delegations from North and South Korea marched together under the national flag of unification.

North Korean ice hockey player Chung Gum Hwang and South Korean bobsledder Won Yun-jong were joint flagbearers.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Historic moment as Korean athletes arrive at opening ceremony

The message of unity and peace was a theme throughout the ceremony, with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach saying: "We are stronger than all the forces that want to divide us."

There was also a rendition of John Lennon's 'Imagine' - the ultimate peace anthem.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Musicians perform a unique version of John Lennon's 'Imagine' at opening ceremony

4. The return of the topless Tongan

Media playback is not supported on this device

Cold? What cold? Tongan makes impressive Pyeongchang entrance

It may have been -6C but that didn't stop taekwondo-fighter-turned-cross-country-skier Pita Taufatofua recreate the incredible moment from Rio 2016 where he emerged, oiled up and topless, waving the Tongan flag.

Social media timelines around the world went into meltdown.

5. The Olympic rings were formed by ACTUAL drones

Media playback is not supported on this device

Swarm of drones form the Olympic rings at 2018 Winter Games opening ceremony

It might be hard to top the goosebump-inducing moment the Olympic rings created a shower of sparks at London 2012, but Pyeongchang 2018 certainly gave it a good go.

In typically high-tech South Korean style, they were formed in the night sky by 1,218 drones.

The amazing feat was a Guinness World Record for drones used in a performance.

6. The lighting of the cauldron

Media playback is not supported on this device

The Olympic Torch is lit at Winter Olympics 2018

The honour of lighting the Olympic flame was handed to Yuna Kim, who won Olympic figure skating gold in 2010.

The South Korean icon performed on a platform at the top of a slope above the stadium, before being handed the torch.

She then lit the flame as 30 fire rings ascended towards the white space-age looking cauldron.

Coming up on Saturday - day one

Elise Christie
Scotland's Elise Christie, 27, goes into her third Olympics having won 1,000m, 1500m and overall gold at the World Championships in Rotterdam in 2017

10:00-12:50 GMT: Triple world champion Elise Christie begins her bid to finally land an Olympic title with the 500m heats. Short-track speed skating team-mates Charlotte Gilmartin and Kathryn Thomson will also race in the 500m.

12:10-14:30: Olympic history will be made with a first unified Korean team taking on Switzerland in the women's ice hockey.

Five golds up for grabs

07:15-08:20: Cross country skiing - women's 7.5km and 7.5km skiathlon

10:00-13:00: Short-track speed skating - men's 1500m

11:00-12:50: Long-track speed skating - women's 3,000m

11:15-12:45: Biathlon - women's 7.5km sprint including GB's Amanda Lightfoot

12:35-14:20: Ski jumping - men's normal hill individual final

Top Stories