The wait is almost over. The XXIII Winter Olympics are just around the corner. There's excitement in the air, the athletes are getting ready for their big moments, and we suddenly find ourselves Googling the rules of curling again. Get pumped, people. This only comes every few years and while we normally don't have sports like luge and speed skating on the brain, now's the time. In addition to that whole competition thing, there's also the always-anticipated celebration to kick it all off. What time does the 2018 Olympics Opening Ceremony air in the U.S.? If you're looking to join in on commemorating the start of the big games, you might want to set your alarm clock.
The live show is set to stream Friday, Feb. 9, at 6 a.m. ET. NBC will also cover it in a fully-produced primetime spectacular at 8 p.m. ET. It will all take place at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium, a new construction that holds 35,000 spectators. The games kick off on Feb. 8, as curling, figure skating, ski jumping, and alpine skiing events are scheduled prior to the opening ceremony, just in case you wanted to get a "jump" start on the athletic action.
Former Today show anchor Katie Couric will be hosting the Opening Ceremony, alongside sports announcer Mike Tirico. Couric is no stranger to Olympics coverage — the broadcasting icon has plenty of experience throughout her career. She stated,
“During my years at NBC, I loved covering the Olympics and showcasing the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of athletes from around the world. The Opening Ceremony will be a chance for South Korea to share its culture and customs and for the international community to celebrate this unparalleled display of athletic achievement and sportsmanship. There’s nothing quite like it.”
If you can't make it to an actual TV, of course there are other ways to watch the coverage. It is 2018, after all. “We are excited to live stream for the first time the Olympic Broadcasting Service’s world feed of the Opening Ceremony. NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports app will continue to provide immersive coverage of all events in the NBC Sports portfolio,” Rick Cordella, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Media, NBC Sports Group, said in a statement.
So, what can you expect from the Opening Ceremonies? Our personal fave is the Parade of Nations — it's like a geography lesson and a pep rally rolled into one fascinating package. The Telegraph reported the anticipated lineup, which is as follows:
- Entry by the head of state
- Playing of the national anthem
- The parade of participants
- The symbolic release of pigeons
- The head of state declares the Games open
- Raising the Olympic flag and playing the Olympic anthem
- The taking of the Olympic oath by an athlete
- The taking of the Olympic oath by an official
- The taking of the Olympic oath by a coach
- The Olympic flame and the torch relay
- The artistic program
In addition to showing off their spirit and introducing themselves to the world, Team USA will also have a chance to rock custom Ralph Lauren uniforms. Bring on the red, white, blue... and the fringe! “We’re proud that we’ve worked so closely with the athletes, as well as the U.S. Olympic Committee, to keep evolving and improving. The uniform celebrates the American spirit, with iconic pieces updated with modern details and technical fabrications," remarked chief innovation officer David Lauren on the design.
Oh, even if you don't catch the Opening Ceremony, please note that hilarious SNL cast member Olympic superfan Leslie Jones will be covering the games live from PyeongChang, South Korea this year. She brought her sense of humor to Rio, and we can't wait to see her commentary this time around.
It's all happening, winter sports fans. Tune into the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony live, Feb. 9 at 6 a.m. ET and let the games begin.