The 2018 Olympics officially kicked off Friday with a dazzling opening ceremony that will air tonight on NBC.

The ceremony began with a round of sparkling fireworks and taekwondo demonstrations from both Koreas. A huge crowd gathered in the freezing Olympics Stadium in the isolated, mountainous corner of South Korea.

As is Olympic tradition, Greece, which hosted the first modern Olympic games in 1896, began the parade of athletes. The other countries followed in alphabetical order according to the Korean alphabet.

The teams were led by a placard bearer dressed in snowflake decorations and the music was various Korean pop songs that range from the 1950s to present day hits.

South Korean athletes who have represented the country in different sports carried the flag around the stadium and then the traditional guard of honor raised the flag. The Rainbow Choir, which consists of 40 children, sang the national anthem.

Hamlin carries U.S. flag

Luge veteran Erin Hamlin carried the flag for the United States while 'Gangnam Style' played.

Hamlin and speedskater Shani Davis were among several candidates for the flagbearer role and athletes from each of the eight winter sports federations voted in the process, which eventually deadlocked at 4-4. Hamlin won a coin toss, which was the predetermined method of picking a winner should the vote end in a tie.

A tweet posted to Davis' Twitter account said the process by which Hamlin won the honor was executed "dishonorably."

Russia wear grey

The Russian Olympic team, known during the Pyeongchang games as the "Olympic Athletes from Russia," wore grey jackets with white scarves. They're being forced to compete in neutral uniforms under the Olympic flag as punishment for Russian doping in Sochi in 2014.

Tonga flag bearer shirtless once again

Once again, Tonga's Pita Taufatofua didn't need a shirt, even in the frigid conditions in PyeongChang. Taufatofua turned heads at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio with his shirtless, oiled-up look as the flag bearer for his country. He was back again and this time it was even more impressive as he waved the flag and didn't seem fazed by temperatures that had fallen into the 20s.

North and South Korea march together

In an extraordinary moment that could hardly be fathomed one month ago, North and South Korea entered the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium together. The countries are cooperating for a series of conciliatory measures, including having their athletes parade together for the first time in 11 years at the opening ceremony. The joyous group flew their flag, which was white with the blue Korean peninsula in the middle.

Pence seated near Kim Jong Un's sister

Vice President Mike Pence was seated just feet apart from the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, but the White House says the two did not interact.

Pence was seated between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The dictator's sister, Kim Yo Jong, and the country's 90-year-old nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, were seated a row behind.

Yuna Kim ignites Olympic cauldron

South Korean figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim ignited the Olympic cauldron. A North Korean and South Korean from the countries' joint hockey team also participated in the ceremony, handing off to Kim.

Kim won a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and a silver at the 2014 Sochi Games before retiring from competition. She remains perhaps the country's most popular sports personality and has worked as a goodwill ambassador to promote the Pyeongchang Games.

More than 2,900 athletes from 92 countries will compete in the Pyeongchang Games, making it the biggest Winter Olympics to date