Incheon (South Korea): Pop star Psy kicked off the Asian Games “Gangnam Style” in an energetic, K-Pop-fuelled ceremony Friday as North Korean athletes received loud cheers from South Korean fans.Spectators and athletes alike joined in Psy’s signature horse-riding dance as the singer belted out an electrifying rendition of his hit at Incheon’s 61,000-seat stadium.
Wearing a glittering black suit and backed by a team of glamorous dancers, the star brought the three-hour spectacle to a thumping finale, heralding the start of 15 days of competition with 9,500 athletes.
South Korean President Park Geun-Hye officially opened the 17th edition of the Olympics-style event, after athletes from 45 countries had filed into the stadium. Actress Lee Young-Ae, lit the Games’ ceremonial flame, helped by two children. But the ceremony’s most touching moment came when the crowd bellowed their approval for the team from North Korea, with which South Korea technically remains at war.
The North’s athletes and officials, in pristine white blazers and blue trousers, gave only the slightest of grins as they paraded in contrast to their enthusiastic welcome. There were also big cheers for Japan and China, allaying fears they could get a frosty reception because of tensions over Beijing’s long-standing support for Pyongyang and Tokyo’s colonial rule.