A GRAND APPEARANCE

This is the order of countries marching at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony

South Korea spent 116 billion won ($109 million) on an Olympic stadium that will be used precisely four times before it is torn down. The first of these events will be for the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Nearly 3,000 athletes from 92 countries and territories will march into the newly built Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium on Feb. 9 to kick off the winter games. This will be the largest number of athletes in the history of the Winter Olympics, despite the fact that Russia, a powerhouse in the winter games, is not officially competing as a result of a state-sponsored doping scandal. (That said, 169 Russian athletes with no history of doping have been cleared to compete neutrally under the Olympic flag and the designation “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”)

While opening ceremonies can run over three hours, a big highlight of the show is the parade of nations. The procession has its roots in the 1908 London games, and in 1928, at the Amsterdam games, three rules were established to determine the order of the countries:

  • Greece marches first, in honor of the fact that the Olympics has its origin in ancient Greece.
  • The host nation goes last. This year at Pyeongchang, the South and North Korean delegation will march 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.

The last rule will give some unexpected places an opportunity to stand out. Ghana, for example, will be the first country in the lineup after Greece, and Hong Kong will have the penultimate appearance before the Korean delegation comes out.

In terms of scale, the US will have the biggest showing with 242 athletes, followed by Canada with 226 athletes, and Switzerland with 171 athletes.

When asked for an official list, a representative from the Pyeongchang Olympics organizing committee did not provide one but confirmed there will be 91 nations in the parade (one less than the total number of nations and territories represented because of the unified Korean delegation) presented in Korean alphabetical order. The opening ceremony will commence today (Feb. 9) at 8pm local time, which is 11am in the UK and 6am in New York.

Here’s the full list and their order:

Position Country Country name in Korean
1 Greece 그리스
2 Ghana 가나
3 The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 구유고슬라비아 마케도니아 공화국
4 Nigeria 나이지리아
5 South Africa 남아프리카 공화국
6 Netherlands 네덜란드
7 Norway 노르웨이
8 New Zealand 뉴질랜드
9 Denmark 덴마크
10 Germany 독일
11 Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste 동티모르
12 Latvia 라트비아
13 Olympic Athletes from Russia 러시아 출신 올림픽 선수
14 Lebanon 레바논
15 Romania 루마니아
16 Luxembourg 룩셈부르크
17 Lithuania 리투아니아
18 Liechtenstein 리히텐슈타인
19 Madagascar 마다가스카르
20 Malaysia 말레이시아
21 Mexico 멕시코
22 Monaco 모나코
23 Morocco 모로코
24 Montenegro 몬테네그로
25 Republic of Moldova 몰도바
26 Malta 몰타
27 Mongolia 몽골
28 United States of America 미국
29 Bermuda 버뮤다
30 Belgium 벨기에
31 Belarus 벨라루스
32 Bosnia and Herzegovina 보스니아 헤르체고비나
33 Bolivia 볼리비아
34 Bulgaria 불가리아
35 Brazil 브라질
36 San Marino 산마리노
37 Serbia 세르비아
38 Sweden 스웨덴
39 Switzerland 스위스
40 Spain 스페인
41 Slovakia 슬로바키아
42 Slovenia 슬로베니아
43 Singapore 싱가포르
44 Armenia 아르메니아
45 Argentina 아르헨티나
46 Iceland 아이슬란드
47 Ireland 아일랜드
48 Azerbaijan 아제르바이잔
49 Andorra 안도라
50 Albania 알바니아
51 Eritrea 에리트레아
52 Estonia 에스토니아
53 Ecuador 에콰도르
54 Great Britain 영국
55 Australia 오스트레일리아
56 Austria 오스트리아
57 Uzbekistan 우즈베키스탄
58 Ukraine 우크라이나
59 Islamic Republic of Iran 이란
60 Israel 이스라엘
61 Italy 이탈리아
62 India 인도
63 Japan 일본
64 Jamaica 자메이카
65 Georgia 조지아
66 People’s Republic of China 중국
67 Chinese Taipei 차이니스 타이베이
68 Czech Republic 체코
69 Chile 칠레
70 Kazakhstan 카자흐스탄
71 Canada 캐나다
72 Kenya 케냐
73 Kosovo 코소보
74 Colombia 콜롬비아
75 Croatia 크로아티아
76 Kyrgyzstan 키르기스스탄
77 Cyprus 키프로스
78 Thailand 태국
79 Turkey 터키
80 Togo 토고
81 Tonga 통가
82 Pakistan 파키스탄
83 Portugal 포르투갈
84 Poland 폴란드
85 Puerto Rico 푸에르토리코
86 France 프랑스
87 Finland 핀란드
88 Philippines 필리핀
89 Hungary 헝가리
90 Hong Kong, China 홍콩
91 Korea 코리아

Update, Feb. 13: There were some variations in the final marching order, from the alphabetical list predicted by Quartz, possibly to accommodate certain diplomatic sensitivities. The Republic of Macedonia, which our list shows in the third spot, came in after France and before Finland. The athletes from Russia entered after Austria, and not after Latvia. Taiwan, which competes as Chinese Taipei, entered after Cyprus, and not after China. Iran and Israel were separated by Italy.

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