The 2018 Winter Olympics are right around the corner, and sports fans from around the world are getting ready to cheer on their favorite athletes. From childhood, I’ve been mesmerized by the beauty and grace of figure skating, so the Winter Games have always been my favorite. I also can't help but get excited about the opening ceremony, which is usually filled with grandeur. This year's lineup of performers has been announced, and if you've been hearing her name recently, you may want to know, who is Ahn Ji Young, the opening ceremony performer of the 2018 Winter Olympics?
The Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang this year, so Korea is planning to introduce the games with some of their best talent. You may be slightly familiar with K-Pop, a genre of Korean pop music, because of the wild popularity of the hit K-Pop song “Gangnam Style” by Psy. But this year’s opening ceremony performer, Ahn Ji Young, is not your typical K-Pop star. She’s one half of the vocal duo, Bolballgan4, an indie pop band in South Korea with millions of fans.
According to Billboard, Bolballgan4 (comprised of Ahn and her singing partner, Woo Ji-yoon) is one of Korea’s most popular bands, and their song “Galaxy” won them song of the year at the 14th Korean Music Awards in 2017. Ahn and Woo go way back, the article noted, and are high school classmates, who at the young age of 22, have gained millions of fans in Korea, rising to fame and stardom with plenty of hit singles under their belt.
While Woo won’t be performing with her at the opening ceremony, Ahn will not be on stage alone. According to a report by Korea Joongang Daily, the indie pop star will be singing in collaboration with Jeon In-kwon (vocalist of the rock band Deulgukhwa) and other singers. Ahn’s opening ceremony performance, as mentioned in the report, will include songs chosen by an Olympics organizing committee.
I had not heard of Ahn or Bolballgan4 before the Olympics announcement, but after watching a few of Bolballgan4’s music videos on Youtube, I have to admit, I’m pretty stoked to hear Ahn sing. She has a melodious, angelic voice, and according to SBS, she’ll be singing a song that symbolizes peace and harmony for the opening ceremony. Considering the hostile air in Korea at the moment, with the surprising participation from North Korea, a sweet song of peace might be the perfect way to set a calming tone for this year’s PyeongChang Games.
It feels like the Winter Olympics have come upon the world just in the nick of time. With the unstable state of world politics, not only are they a great way to display global unity, they are also a much needed and welcome distraction. The last few years have been dominated by stressful and frustrating news cycles, so it will be nice to be able to divert your attention to some light and fun gamesmanship. After all of the divisive rhetoric and tactics the United States has endured for the last few years, the Olympics may help bring the country together, even if momentarily, to cheer on their best athletes.
So when and where can you catch Ahn’s performance? You can watch the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony live at 6 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday, Feb. 9 on NBC, but if you aren’t able to catch in the morning, you can set it to record on your DVR or watch it when it airs again that night at 8 p.m Eastern Time. You can watch it with your kids, like I do, making it the perfect winter family affair.
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