This Is the Order That Countries Marched in at the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony

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The broadcast of the peace-themed Opening Ceremony of the highly-anticipated 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea officially kicked off Friday at 8 p.m. local time.

Around 3,000 athletes from 92 countries and territories braced frightful temperatures as they marched into the new PyeongChang Olympic Stadium under their country’s flag during the Parade of Nations – as per Olympic tradition. North and South Korea made history when they marched together under a single flag, as musicians performed John Lennon’s iconic hit “Imagine.”

But many social media users observing the ceremony seemed slightly confused by the order of events. “What is the order of the countries coming out in the opening ceremony? It’s not alphabetical?” wrote one Twitter user. “Weird opening ceremony. Don’t know how they’ve determined the order of countries. Not alphabetical just muddled up,” added another.

In fact, the order that the countries marched in was alphabetic – but following the Korean alphabet known as Hangeul, as opposed to the English alphabet. That is why, by way of example, Denmark followed New Zealand, Iran followed Ukraine and Bermuda followed the United States of America.

That said, there are two exceptions to the rule. Firstly, an Olympic Opening Ceremony parade always begins with Greece, in honor of where the games originate from, and the host nation always goes last. This time, both North and South Korea appeared at the conclusion of the parade, as they were marching under the same flag.

Here’s the full order that countries marched in at the 2018 Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics:

1. Greece
2. Ghana
3. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
4. Nigeria
5. South Africa
6. Netherlands
7. Norway
8. New Zealand
9. Denmark
10. Germany
11. Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
12. Latvia
13. Olympic Athletes from Russia
14. Lebanon
15. Romania
16. Luxembourg
17. Lithuania
18. Liechtenstein
19. Madagascar
20. Malaysia
21. Mexico
22. Monaco
23. Morocco
24. Montenegro
25. Republic of Moldova
26. Malta
27. Mongolia
28. United States of America
29. Bermuda
30. Belgium
31. Belarus
32. Bosnia and Herzegovina
33. Bolivia
34. Bulgaria
35. Brazil
36. San Marino
37. Serbia
38. Sweden
39. Switzerland
40. Spain
41. Slovakia
42. Slovenia
43. Singapore
44. Armenia
45. Argentina
46. Iceland
47. Ireland
48. Azerbaijan
49. Andorra
50. Albania
51. Eritrea
52. Estonia
53. Ecuador
54. Great Britain
55. Australia
56. Austria
57. Uzbekistan
58. Ukraine
59. Islamic Republic of Iran
60. Israel
61. Italy
62. India
63. Japan
64. Jamaica
65. Georgia
66. People’s Republic of China
67. Chinese Taipei
68. Czech Republic
69. Chile
70. Kazakhstan
71. Canada
72. Kenya
73. Kosovo
74. Colombia
75. Croatia
76. Kyrgyzstan
77. Cyprus
78. Thailand
79. Turkey
80. Togo
81. Tonga
82. Pakistan
83. Portugal
84. Poland
85. Puerto Rico
86. France
87. Finland
88. Philippines
89. Hungary
90. Hong Kong, China
91. Korea (North and South)

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