When did the 2018 Olympics ACTUALLY start?

If you head to Google and type in “2018 Winter Olympics,” you’ll see that the official start date of the Games says Friday, February 9th, during the Opening Ceremony. But if you’ve been on the internet at all in the last two days, or if you had NBC on last night, you’ve probably already realized that, uh, it seems like the Olympics have already begun, days before the Opening Ceremony aired on NBC. So when did the 2018 Olympics actually start?

Feb. 9th is the date of the Opening Ceremony of the Games, which is traditionally known as the official beginning of the event. The Opening Ceremony consists of the Parade of Nations, performers from the host country, and a general huge spectacle that gets everybody interested. It’s the first real introduction to all of the athletes and is full of excitement. The live-stream of the event aired at 6 A.M. EST on NBC.com, and the taped ceremony will be on NBC at 8 P.M. EST.

One would assume that the Games would start after the Opening Ceremony, which would mean that the events scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 10th, are the first events. Well, one would be wrong. The 2018 Olympics actually started on Wednesday, Feb. 7th, which means that, yeah, you probably already missed a few events if you haven’t been tuning in.

On Feb. 7th, there were events in curling and ski jumping. On Thursday, Feb. 8th, the first figure skating and alpine skiing events aired live on NBC. These weren’t practices, but very real events.

So why is the Opening Ceremony happening after several events took place? The answer is unclear. It might be because it makes the most sense, from a business standpoint, to air the Ceremony on a Friday night, when the most viewers will be able to watch. There hasn’t been an official statement on it, so we can’t say what the reason is for sure.

If you’re upset you missed out on the events, take comfort in knowing that you at least didn’t miss any medal ceremonies. Those don’t begin until Saturday, Feb. 10th, for a cross country skiing event. Keep an eye on that schedule!