The Winter Olympics may have begun on Thursday, but things didn't really get started until Friday's opening ceremony. To be more specific, things didn't really get started until NBC's Friday night broadcast of the opening ceremony, which featured commentary and interviews with anchor Katie Couric and sportscaster Mike Turico. Because while the opening ceremony was entertaining in itself, the evening broadcast was brought to us with that special Katie Couric touch. Shortly after the opening ceremony started airing at 8 p.m. EST, Twitter started blowing up with tweets about Katie Couric — for a variety of reasons.
With a theme of "peace," the opening ceremony featured a particularly interesting Parade of Nations, in which athletes from North and South Korea marched together under one flag representing all of Korea. This decision was made following the decision to merge the women's ice hockey teams from the two Koreas. The two states have a history of conflict, and have not marched together at a Parade of Nations in 11 years. Additionally, rumors of K-pop performances were squashed at the opening ceremony, much to the dismay of hopeful fans. Instead, folk-rock musician Jeon In-kwon, rock musician Ha Hyun-woo from the band Guckkasten, and indie musical artist Ahn Ji-young from the band Bolbbalgan4 performed John Lennon's "Imagine," keeping in line with the "peace" theme.
During the broadcast, Katie Couric captured Twitter's attention for a number of reasons.
Early on in the show, Couric made a comment about her daughter that instantly went viral — she said that her adult daughter didn't want to be in the same zip code as her. Womp-womp. Many tweeted their reactions:
Others noticed the comments she made about Korean culture, accusing some of them of being offensive.
And some people had absolutely no beef against Couric in particular, but they were simply annoyed by the fact that there were voices talking over the opening ceremony.
Hot tip: if you wanted to watch the opening ceremony without commentary, you could have woken up early for the 6:00 a.m. EST broadcast.
But! Many other Katie Couric fans were happy to see their girl commenting on the opening ceremony.
Not to mention, Couric's excitement over the Tongan Flag Bearer did not go unnoticed.
So while the Twitter chorus is mixed thus far, it's no surprise that Couric was asked to co-host this year's opening ceremony. After all, she's hosted three other opening ceremonies for NBC, according to CNN. She's also anchored the Today show during six different Olympic games in the past. However, she didn't have much time to prepare for this year's opening ceremony — the outlet notes that Couric only found out she was heading to PyeongChang last month, while Tirico has had almost a year to gear up for the huge opportunity.
"I've been paying attention to a lot of the things that've been going on in the world," said Couric said, according to NBC. "Some of the athletes of course I know, but luckily I'm a quick study and a fast learner and hopefully I'll have everything under my belt."
NBC announced that Couric and Turico would be hosting PyeongChang's opening ceremony in mid-January. “During my years at NBC, I loved covering the Olympics and showcasing the hard work, dedication and perseverance of athletes from around the world,” Couric said in a press release at the time. “The Opening Ceremony will be a chance for South Korea to share its culture and customs and for the international community to celebrate this unparalleled display of athletic achievement and sportsmanship. There’s nothing quite like it ... I’m also looking forward to working with Mike, who brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to everything he does.”
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