Decoding the order of the Olympic Opening Ceremony march, plus the list itself

The PyeongChang Olympics have officially begun, and already there’s confusion among casual viewers about the Opening Ceremony.

The 2018 Olympic Opening Ceremony hosted nearly 3,000 athletes from 92 countries, hitting the highest mark in the history of the Winter Olympics for participants. This incredible number makes the parade of nations a highlight of the ceremony. Every participating country, and technically even one non-participating country, are announced to the world and given the opportunity to wave their country’s flag proudly while donning their country’s colors, in this case in the form of heavy parkas, winter hats and gloves.

But in what order? Alphabetical? By continent?

The Opening Ceremony can be a lengthy endeavor, sometimes lasting three or more hours, making for a lot to take in as a viewer. The history of the parade of nations dates back to the 1908 London Games with the rules for the procession being established in 1928 at the Amsterdam Games.

There are three main rules that dictate the order of the countries during the procession: 

  • Greece marches first, in honor of the fact that the Olympics have their origin in ancient Greece.

  • The host nation goes last. This year at Pyeongchang, the South and North Korean delegation marched together under the unified Korean flag.

  • The remaining countries are ordered alphabetically in the language of the host nation. In the case of the Pyeongchang games, that will be Korean.

Inside the stadium, the announcers announce each country’s name in English, French and the dominant language of the area of the host city.

Erin Hamlin carries the flag of the United States delegation in PyeongChang. (AP)

In 2018 the United States leads the way in team size with 242 athletes, followed by Canada with 226 and then Switzerland with 171. Subsequently, the countries of Azerbaijan, Bermuda, Cyprus, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Kosovo, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Singapore, San Marino, Tonga and the Democratic Republic of Timo-Leste post 17 athletes combined.

Here’s the full list and order of the parade of nations:

Position

Country

Country name in Korean

1

Greece

그리스

2

Ghana

가나

3

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

구유고슬라비아 마케도니아 공국

4

Nigeria

나이지리아

5

South Africa

남아리카 공국

6

Netherlands

네덜란드

7

Norway

노르웨이

8

New Zealand

뉴질랜드

9

Denmark

덴마

10

Germany

독일

11

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

동모르

12

Latvia

라비아

13

Olympic Athletes from Russia

러시아 출신 올림 선수

14

Lebanon

레바논

15

Romania

루마니아

16

Luxembourg

룩셈부르

17

Lithuania

리아니아

18

Liechtenstein

리슈인

19

Madagascar

마다가스카르

20

Malaysia

말레이시아

21

Mexico

멕시코

22

Monaco

모나코

23

Morocco

모로코

24

Montenegro

몬네그로

25

Republic of Moldova

몰도바

26

Malta

27

Mongolia

몽골

28

United States of America

미국

29

Bermuda

버뮤다

30

Belgium

벨기에

31

Belarus

벨라루스

32

Bosnia and Herzegovina

보스니아 르체고비나

33

Bolivia

볼리비아

34

Bulgaria

불가리아

35

Brazil

브라질

36

San Marino

산마리노

37

Serbia

세르비아

38

Sweden

스웨덴

39

Switzerland

스위스

40

Spain

스인

41

Slovakia

슬로바아

42

Slovenia

슬로베니아

43

Singapore

싱가르

44

Armenia

아르메니아

45

Argentina

아르나

46

Iceland

아이슬란드

47

Ireland

아일랜드

48

Azerbaijan

아제르바이잔

49

Andorra

안도라

50

Albania

알바니아

51

Eritrea

에리레아

52

Estonia

에스니아

53

Ecuador

에콰도르

54

Great Britain

영국

55

Australia

오스레일리아

56

Austria

오스리아

57

Uzbekistan

우즈베스

58

Ukraine

우라이나

59

Islamic Republic of Iran

이란

60

Israel

이스라엘

61

Italy

이리아

62

India

인도

63

Japan

일본

64

Jamaica

자메이카

65

Georgia

조지아

66

People’s Republic of China

중국

67

Chinese Taipei

차이니스 이베이

68

Czech Republic

체코

69

Chile

칠레

70

Kazakhstan

카자스

71

Canada

캐나다

72

Kenya

케냐

73

Kosovo

코소보

74

Colombia

콜롬비아

75

Croatia

로아아

76

Kyrgyzstan

르기스스

77

Cyprus

로스

78

Thailand

79

Turkey

80

Togo

81

Tonga

82

Pakistan

83

Portugal

르갈

84

Poland

란드

85

Puerto Rico

에르리코

86

France

랑스

87

Finland

란드

88

Philippines

89

Hungary

가리

90

Hong Kong, China

91

Korea

코리아

As for the rest of the ceremony, South Korea unveiled the brand new $109 million Olympic stadium to the public for the first time during the 2018 Opening Ceremony, and as far as a hundred million-dollar stadiums go, it seemed nice.

The high price tag for the structure breaks down into a $27.25 million per event cost of construction, considering the plans for using the stadium consist of four total events. By the end of the Opening Ceremony, the structure will have lived 25 percent of its life and cost more than several Olympic Games participating countries are worth.

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