Ever since the first modern Olympic games were held in 1896, the opening ceremony has become the most anticipated event of the worldwide competition. By reflecting the culture and history of the host country, it embraces outstanding performance with incredible dance and music.
Similarly, the traditional events are a complete substitute for their ancestry, Ancient Games. So, it makes sense that millions of audiences gather to watch the ceremony despite time zone differences.
In modern-day, Olympic games are more than an event for athletes to compete. It’s a gathering under the tent of sports. Thus, it doesn’t surprise us to know many people set their schedules days prior to the opening of the game.
If you’re one of the Olympic fans or want to experience your first opening ceremony, here’s everything you need to know!
- What are the Olympic games?
- When do the Olympic games happen?
- What happens during the Olympic games opening ceremony?
- Where will the 2026 Winter Olympics be held?
What are the Olympic games?
Influenced by the history of ancient Olympics, modern Olympic games refer to an international sports event that more than 200 nations around the world participate. Thousands of athletes attend the competition to represent their country in various contests.
The sports event takes place in a different country every four years. Yet, ever since 1994, the four-year period has been divided into two to hold:
- Summer Olympics and,
- Winter Olympics.
Generally, they held Olympics for two weeks, 16 days.
What are the Olympic ceremonies and sports?
Alongside the most anticipated sports competition, the event draws attention with ceremonies, including:
- Opening ceremony: which happens in the Olympic stadium and ends with the lightening of the Olympic cauldron.
- Medal presentation: The gold medal winner’s national anthem plays at the ceremony.
- Closing ceremony: The closing ceremony starts with parade of flags, the host nation’s flag coming last.
Meanwhile, a total of 35 sports, 53 disciplines, and over 400 events make up the Olympic program for summer and winter games.
There are 28 sports at the Summer Olympics and seven at the Winter Olympics.
Some of the existing sports for winter games are:
- Figure skating:
Figure skating was part of the Summer Olympics but has moved to the Winter Olympics since 1924. It has programs: ladies and men singles, pair and ice dance.
The USA ranks first in Figure skating with the greatest number of medals.
- Alpine skiing:
Alpine skiing has been part of the Winter Olympics ever since 1936. Sports events often happen in Alpine countries.
- Ski jumping:
Ski jumping has been part of the Winter Olympics since 1924 and has programs for both men and women for individuals and teams.
Some of the sports for summer games are:
- Artistic Swimming:
It has been part of the Summer Olympics ever since 1984 and is currently a competition for duet and team events.
- Artistic Gymnastics:
One of the sports that has been part of the Summer Olympics ever since the start of the modern Olympic event. It qualifies athletes to contend in solo or team events.
It has been part of summer games ever since 1900. Eighty-four nations attended the competition, France appearing the most. Especially athletes from South Korea showed remarkable performance by winning 27 out of 39 gold medals in archery.
International Olympic committee
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a sports organization located in Switzerland. It has responsibility to manage Olympic games and cooperate with new events to encourage sport development.
When do the Olympic games happen?
The Olympics take place every four years. The event, including opening and closing ceremonies lasts for 16 days. The opening ceremony happens on Friday evening and closing ceremony occurs on a Sunday.
The latest summer Olympics has taken place in Japan. Although the Tokyo games were supposed to take place in 2020, due to pandemics, it was celebrated in 2021.
The latest winter Olympics took place in China, Beijing in 2022. Based on eastern standard time, viewers watched the opening ceremony live from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
What happens during the Olympic games opening ceremony?
The first week of the event starts with Olympic opening ceremony, which takes place on Friday evening. It follows certain traditions.
Opening ceremony starts with Artistic performance, where host nation displays a show based on its culture and chosen theme in Olympic stadium.
Opening ceremonies have always showcased a theme presented by the host country.
Parade of Nations
Friday’s opening ceremony continues with nations walking into the Olympic stadium with their flags, which are carried by flag bearers for the introduction.
After the speech of authorized individuals, Olympic flag bearers walk into the stadium as the Olympics hymn play. Then, an athlete and judge read the Olympic oath.
As it approaches Friday night, usually the remarkable athletes of the host nation carry the Olympic torch through a torch relay. Then, one of them lights the Olympic cauldron.
Symbolic Release of doves
After the Olympic flame is lightened through a torch relay, doves are released as a symbol of peace, and Olympics games open.
Where did the 2022 Winter Olympics happen?
China hosted 2022 Olympic Winter games in three competition cities: Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou in February.
The country opened Olympic Villages on Thursday in Beijing and welcomed 2,897 athletes from 91 National Olympic Committees to winter games. The competition lasted for 19 days, and athletes broke 17 Olympic records.
Team USA was the largest group with 224 athletes.
Where will the 2026 Winter Olympics be held?
The next Olympic winter games will be held in two Italian cities, Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in 2026.
The host nation won the bid in 2019, making the official name of the competition Milano Cortina 2026.
Did you set your schedule for early morning hours to catch up with opening ceremonies? You aren’t alone.
Now that you know the events that take place before the opening ceremony, we’re sure you don’t want to miss the incredible show and support nation’s beloved athletes.