The 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Included These Animals & Here's What They Mean

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The Olympics opening ceremony went down on Friday, Feb. 9 at the ceremony was absolutely beautiful. The ceremony started off with a video of kids exploring Korea and then the feed cut to the same kids in the Olympic stadium running with huge animal puppets. The meaning of the animals in the 2018 Olympics opening ceremony pays tribute to the Korean culture and it's amazing. Some of the animals honored with puppets in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics opening ceremony included a white tiger (the 2018 Olympics mascot), a grasshopper, a dragon, and a turtle.

The Olympics mascot is always an animal/character that represents the host country. The white tiger, in Korean culture, represents trust and strength and comes up in Korean mythology as a kind of guardian. So basically, the white tiger puppet at the Olympics opening ceremony looks just like a patronus, and that's pretty much exactly what it is. The Olympics mascot's name is Soohorang, which also has a special meaning. "Sooho" is the Korean word for strength, and "rang" is an abbreviation of the word "ho-rang-i," which means tiger. So the name Soohorang quite literally translates to strong tiger. We see what you did there, Olympics!!

Fans loved the various animal puppets featured in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics opening ceremony.

In Korean culture, the turtle represents longevity/the ruler of insects. The dragon is considered to be the ruler of all animals, which is ironic because dragons don't really exist (unless you really believe Game of Thrones). But in Korean culture, the dragon also represents good luck, the expelling of evil, and holy power. Korean mythology believes the dragon controls floods and draughts and is also used to represent kings. So yeah, the animals represented in the beginning of the Olympics opening ceremony mean a lot to Korean culture.

Soohorang, the Olympic mascot, made its debut in July during Olympic events in Seoul and PyeongChang. Gunilla Lindberg, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, said of choosing a white tiger to be the 2018 Olympic mascot,

It’s a beautiful animal, strongly associated with Korean culture. It also symbolises the close link between the Olympic Winter Games and the natural environment. I’m sure the new mascot will be very popular with Koreans and people around the world.

While the beginning of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics opening ceremony represented Korean history and culture, other parts of the ceremony paid homage to modern Korean culture and music. K-Pop had a huge presence in the ceremony, with K-Pop groups like TWICE and BTS being represented by their music playing. "Likey" played during the opening ceremony as athletes from around the world walked into the stadium representing their countries, as did the BTS song "DNA" and PSY's "Gangnam Style."

"Let Everyone Shine" was played before the Olympic torch was brought into the stadium. The song was created as the anthem for the 2018 Olympic torch and was performed by Korean R&B singer Insooni.

Some of the "Let Everyone Shine" lyrics go,

All of us gathered here share one dream. It is the moment to rise again and follow the flame. With a shining dream deep inside of you. Together we can move forward one step at a time.
When all our dreams come together. And shine as one bright flame.
Let everyone shine. Let everyone shine and shine. Lighting up every corner of the world. Let everyone shine. Let everyone shine and shine. Shining on you, here and now. All the time.

You can watch the Olympics live stream over the course of the Olympics at or on the NBC app, if you can't watch live on TV. Happy Olympics, everyone!!

Erin Jackson is an inline skating world medalist and roller derby MVP. She dreamed of skating in the Olympics, but to do that, she had to get on ice. She took her first steps on a long-track course in 2016 and started training professionally in September 2017. Four months later, she qualified for the Olympic Winter Games. Check out Elite Daily Insights' video on Jackson's incredible story:

To learn more, visit The Winter Olympics will air live starting February 8.