From the 9th to the 25th of February this year, the Winter Olympics were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Now that the events have come to a close, let us take a look at some of the highlights on social media, particularly some of those that do not involve the competing athletes themselves.
I. Soohorang (수호랑), the official mascot
What could be more popular on social media than the affable Soohorang, the official mascot for the 2018 Winter Olympics? This post, with several mascots gathered together to take a photograph backstage before making their final appearance in the closing ceremony, garnered 42914 likes and 685 comments as of the time of writing.
The marketing team of the Pyeongchang Olympics appears to have done their best to anthropomorphize the mascot. Thanks to their efforts, Soohorang has received much love over the Olympic season, with many posts on social media about its antics, such as the ones below.
머리가 커서 수난 당하는 수호랑 pic.twitter.com/Yu42UdDVqS
— 라윰 (@xmfkdbap) February 9, 2018
— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) February 25, 2018
A doll version of the mascot was even given to Olympic medalists in place of the flower wreaths that were handed to the medalists in the past.
Soohorang also made a final appearance in the closing ceremony in drone form.
It also appeared on stage, holding the hand of Hodori, the mascot of the 1988 Summer Olympics, which was held in South Korea.
II. EXO at the closing ceremony
The Korean boy band’s performance during the closing ceremony has been tweeted about so many times that the hashtag #Olympics_EXO continues to trend with several million tweets in various countries across the world.
Some of the tweets showed the boys backstage, waiting for their turn to perform.
— 나오꼼 🧚🏼♂️ (@choconini_) February 27, 2018
#Olympics_EXO trending at N°1 Worldwide Before and During the Bands performance at the #2018PyeongChangOlympics Closing Ceremony and still trending!👏1⃣🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺🕺👑🌟https://t.co/exrPXDh5MJ pic.twitter.com/zzMoMGkyoR
— World Music Awards (@WORLDMUSICAWARD) February 25, 2018
Many of the tweets came from fans of EXO, who were glad that the band was being seen on an international platform and were even being mentioned in the news and on the radio.
I’ve been waiting for a moment like this for over two years~ ❤ I’m so glad EXO are finally getting the global recognition they deserve. Their performance was amazing! I’m so proud of them 💕💕 #Olympics_EXO @weareoneEXO pic.twitter.com/ATFQFROBAg
— Merit Leighton (@meritleighton) February 25, 2018
— KoKoBop (@YixuanU) February 26, 2018
— Annie Annie Bofanie (@ninjapirate902) February 26, 2018
They even received praise from some individuals who were not fans.
The South Korean boy band performing at the Olympic closing ceremonies would have been a better Super Bowl halftime show than Justin Timberlake. #ClosingCeremony
— Wes Smith (@wessmith1966) February 26, 2018
— The S is Squared (@TheS_Squared) February 26, 2018
III. Politicians in the Winter Olympics
While the Olympics is in part a sporting competition, it is certainly also a large scale event of political interest. Many different news articles have been written about the brief unification of North and South Korea during the Olympics this year as well as about the unified Korean flag. But let’s take a look at what made it onto the social media accounts of regular people.
Here we see South Korean President, Moon Jae-In, with his wife along with American President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, Korean boy band EXO and Korean singer CL all posing for the camera. They can be seen very sportingly making mini hearts with their fingers, a sign that is often used by Korean celebrities to express their love towards their fans.
Here is Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s thank you to the athletes who had competed in the Olympics and encouragement message towards those participating in the Paralympics.
Now that the Winter Olympics are over, it’s time for us to turn our eyes to the Paralympics. Will Bandabi be as well loved as Soohorang? Let’s find out!