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Winter Olympics 2018 Opening Ceremony: Yuna Kim Lights the Torch

Friday - 09/02/2018 10:05
We’re live in Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony of the Winter Games. Stay here for updates, photographs and analysis.

The crowning moment of any opening ceremony: the final leg of the torch relay and the lighting of the Olympic caldron. Inbee Park, the golfer, is one of the final torchbearers. Two members of the mixed North and South Korean women’s hockey team, Chung Su-hyon of North Korea and Park Jong-ah of South Korea, carry the torch up the stairs. And the hero chosen for the highest of Olympic honors is ... Yuna Kim, the profoundly popular figure skater who won the gold medal in 2010 and the silver medal in 2014. She is a beloved celebrity in South Korea and often referred to as “Queen Yuna.”

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A unified Korean team marched out together carrying the unification flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times
 
 
The South Korean president Moon Jae-in watched from the stands near Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the North Korean leader. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
 

Unified Korean team hears cheers, but not from all.

A unified Korean team of athletes marched out together carrying the unification flag as the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, watched from the stands near Kim Yo-jong, the sister of the North Korean leader.

The Olympics may have renewed hopes of a unified Korea for some, but attitudes about becoming a single nation again have shifted since the last time South Korea hosted an Olympics, the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul. In general, younger South Koreans are less favorable of reintegrating with the impoverished North. In fact, a recent survey showed that more than 70 percent of South Koreans in their 20s were against reunification. They are more interested in domestic issues, like unemployment, and some feel that reuniting the peninsula would be burdensome for the South.

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The cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua of Tonga marching shirtless into Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
 


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