Oh Jang-hwan, Director of Ceremonies for the PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee, reveals what athletes can look forward to from the much-anticipated ceremonies…

What can athletes expect from the Opening Ceremony for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on 9 February?
Athletes, spectators and everyone watching around the world can enjoy a fantastic variety of performances during the Opening Ceremony, ranging from traditional Korean to modern cultural. We have also prepared a number of fun elements for the athletes while they wait to walk into the stadium. This includes a photo zone and tattoo sticker experience in the athletes’ lounge, along with wearable mascots and mime performances to entertain them.

In what way will the Opening Ceremony have a distinctly Korean feel? 
The theme of the Opening Ceremony is “Harmony and Convergence”. The ceremony signifies the start of the Games, but is also a wonderful opportunity for the host country to share its culture with the world. This is what we are aiming to do. Our distinctive Korean culture will be on display throughout the show and will be reinterpreted so that people from across the globe can appreciate it and enjoy it to its fullest.

How much work has been involved in the creation of the Opening Ceremony? 
The PyeongChang 2018 Organising Committee has been working closely with the Executive Creative Director, Song Seung-whan, and has been supported by 13 domestic and international creative directors, as well as a production company that has expertise and experience in creating a wide variety of shows. We will have around 2,500 performers in the Opening Ceremony, while a variety of props will also be used to help people understand the story. We are keeping the details a secret until the night of the Ceremony!

What can athletes look forward to from the Closing Ceremony?
The theme for the Closing Ceremony is “Next Wave”. It will have a festival atmosphere to recognise and celebrate the athletes’ hard work and achievements at the Games. We have created a show that looks towards the future; it includes quite a lot of traditional Korean humour and fun elements to add to the party feel.

Is there anything else that spectators should look out for?
This is the first stadium built exclusively for ceremonies in Olympic history, and its pentagon shape will allow closer interaction with the spectators. As the stadium is open-air, they will also get a different sensory experience. They just need to come dressed appropriately for the cold winter weather!

For more information about PyeongChang 2018, including details about the Opening, Closing, Victory and Team Welcome ceremonies, click here