Remember the ’88 Seoul Olympics “Crispy Bird” Opening Ceremony?

by Haps Staff
haps Magazine Korea

With the PyeongChang Winter Olympics opening ceremony just days away, Olympic organizers can’t help but hope a repeat of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Summer Games opening ceremony debacle doesn’t happen.

If you don’t remember, or have never seen the footage, let’s just say Korean “crispy bird” horrified bird lovers everywhere.

As with all opening ceremonies, things can go wrong. At Vancouver, only three of the four cauldrons raised. Just four years ago, a small malfunction with the Olympic rings caused embarrassment for Sochi. And who could forget the lip-synch debacle in Beijing which used a cute lip-synching girl because the original singer was deemed “too ugly”?

Problems can happen, of course, though nothing like what went on in Seoul in 1988.

So what happened? During the opening ceremony, there were a lot of peace doves released to signify the start of the games and South Korea’s opening to the world.

However, when the big moment came with the official lighting of the torch, a bunch of the birds which had taken refuge on the cauldron went up in flames.

Years ago, Time magazine referred to it as the “worst ever opening ceremonies“.

Will there be another big blunder to open this year’s games? Who knows, but unfortunately for organizers, pictures accidentally released by Reuters gave a clue as to what the opening ceremonies will look like have already given a bit of the surprise away.

With temperatures plunging to possibly -15’C to -20’C in the stadium for the opening ceremonies, the cold may be the biggest story as efforts to keep spectators warm during the three hour show have people worried about hypothermia.

As for the birds, the only ones that won’t be safe this Friday are at the thousands of chicken restaurants around the country likely to be eaten during the telecast.

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