On Friday, hundreds of athletes from all over the world marched into the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium in the Parade of Nations to kick off the 2018 Winter Olympics. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a part of the patriotic procession?
Fortunately for us, several athletes — and spectators — captured an up-close look at Team USA’s entrance at the main event. And it’s just as high-energy as you’d think.
“Alright! Here we go!” Olympic snowboarder Shaun White is heard saying in a Snapchat video as he filed into the main area of the stadium with more than 240 other U.S. athletes.
The U.S. group added a special touch to the opening ceremony as South Korea showcased its culture through performance and spectacle on the world stage. The Olympians waved and dancing into the venue, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gave a wave to the athletes from the stands.
As the athletes marched, social media users couldn’t help but notice the music that played during the procession: “Gangnam Style” — the 2012 mega-hit by South Korean YouTube sensation Psy.
“Team USA just walked in to Gangnam Style at the #OpeningCeremony,” one person tweeted. “These Olympics are officially🔥🔥🔥.”
Olympic ice hockey star Hilary Knight shared an “#Olympic selfie” before heading out into the arena with her crew. And the athlete couldn’t help but share another shot after team’s entrance.
“Ayyyyyyyy. Team,” she simply wrote alongside a photo of herself and other athletes all bundled up in their official Team USA gear.
Many of the U.S. athletes sported Americana-inspired outfits provided by Polo Ralph Lauren at the event. The ensemble featured slim-fit moto jeans, fringed cowboy gloves, a tricolor wool knit sweater, a navy bandana and brown suede mountaineering boots with red laces.
Creators kept the cold weather in mind when designing the outfits. The athletes’ limited-edition down parkas are embedded with an interior heating system made of conductive carbon and silver ink and printed in the design of an American flag.
Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy also noted their places in history at the opening ceremony — the pair are the first two openly gay U.S. athletes to compete at the Winter Olympics. Kenworthy even planted a kiss on Rippon’s cheek to mark the occasion.
Biathlete Lowell Bailey gushes about the opportunity to march with the team in a selfie of his own.
“After sitting out the previous three, finally got to walk in Opening Ceremonies!” he captioned the Twitter photo.
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Leading the U.S. crew was Olympic luger Erin Hamlin — the first U.S. athlete to win an Olympic singles luge medal. With at least 240 athletes competing at the 23rd Winter Olympics, Hamlin carried the flag with the largest U.S. contingent ever.
As for ice hockey star Meghan Duggan, she couldn’t help but share a slew of photos from the team’s arrival.
“Feelings and emotions I can’t begin to explain,” she wrote in a tweet. “So much pride. So much honor. Let the games begin.”