Feb. 9 (UPI) — The 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang kicked off Friday with a theme of peace, as nations from around the world were introduced in a grand opening ceremony.
After opening segments of spectacular pageantry showcasing children following a white tiger on a quest for peace, the traditional parade of nations began at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.
One of the main highlights of the parade came as athletes from North and South Korea marched as one group. Dressed in white and marching together, the unified group carried one flag.
Carrying the Korean unification flag was South Korean bobsledder Won Yun-jong and North Korean ice hockey player Hwang Chung-gum.
As the athletes entered, many arm-in-arm, crowds cheered as South Korean president Moon Jae-in shook hands with North Korean legislative president Kim Yong-nam — and Kim Yo-jong, the sister of Pyongyang leader Kim Jong-un.
As custom, the Greek team began the parade, followed by teams entering in alphabetical order based Korean language names. The host nation is introduced last.
Nearly 3,000 athletes will compete at the Pyeongchang Games. The U.S. Olympic team sent 242 athletes — including 135 men and 107 women, which is the largest for any nation in the history of the Winter Olympics.