Perhaps the reason I’ve been semi-absent from here is due to the Winter Olympics. It’s been an amazing 2.5 weeks! Being Canadian, we’re quite happy with how we performed during this winter game. And being a k-pop fan, I found it quite interesting to see how k-pop was mentioned throughout various moments of the opening and closing ceremony.
While no k-pop artists performed during the opening ceremony, as S. Korea decided to keep mainly to traditional music, there were a few moments we were able to catch how k-pop is recognized as part of their pop-culture either by their citizens, the understanding of how k-pop is growing internationally or both:
- Parade of Athletes: During various moments as every countries’ Olympians marched to the center of the stadium, we were able to catch music from Big Bang, Red Velvet, BTS and more.
- All For the Future: During a pre-filmed segment where five children, each representing the ‘ring’ of the Olympic logo, i.e. the five nations, stepped though a symbolic door into their future on the other side. Their career paths represented top S. Korean strengths/industries both present and in the future. Some involved robotics or medicine & technology, etc. One, however, was ‘k-pop idol’. I suppose it truly is an industry which is showing a positive effect on S. Korea’s economy. As well as the gaining popularity, globally. But a career path? I don’t know – as a parent, that is probably one of the worst career paths I would wish on my kid. They’ve got to really, really want it!
- At the end, a group of male hip-hop dancers came out to perform. I would definitely say their dance styles reflect k-pop choreography.
Both CL and EXO performed at the closing ceremony. And it will come off as no surprise, EXO was closer to the end of the entertainment portion.
EXO performed Growl followed by Power. I had a feeling they would perform two songs. And Power was an obvious one. The energy and positive vibe completely fits The Olympics.
My honest opinion? Kai stole the show. His intro before the rest of his EXO family entered the center stage in jeeps, showed just Kai and a traditional S. Korean drummer (and there was some one on a synthesizer as well). As the beat created a rhythm, Kai did such a beautiful dance. Words can not describe it – but I definitely was very proud of him. His ballet and contemporary dance skills came shining through!
I know some ARMY were extremely upset BTS was not part of either opening or closing ceremonies. I think both would have done a great job. Rumors state BTS was invited but due to scheduling they had to decline the invite. Who knows what the truth is.
Does it really matter, though?
I am a true BTS fan but EXO has cemented their popularity in S. Korea for much longer. I think people need to also remember, while k-pop is a part of S. Korea’s pop-culture, the Olympics is not about k-pop. The Olympics has many traditions and while I would have been very supportive of BTS performing at The Olympics, I don’t think it was a tragedy they weren’t there.