Opening ceremony of PyeongChang Winter Olympics to air Friday night

Photo: IOC / GREG MARTIN

Team USA will be led into the opening ceremony at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics by luge veteran Erin Hamlin, who enters her last Olympics and will carry in the U.S. flag.

The opening ceremony from South Korea will air Friday at 8 p.m. on WNDU. Mike Tirico and Katie Couric will host.

The pageantry and the Parade of Nations is one of the signature moments of the Olympic Games, and Friday night's broadcast will be no different.

"The opening ceremony will weave together the narratives of five lovable protagonists from Gangwon province through cultural performances," executive producer of the Opening Ceremony Yang Jung-Woong told NBC in January. "The stage will unfold like a winter fairytale depicting the children's adventure."

The large U.S. contingent is one of the more enthusiastic groups.

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."

Davis is a five-time Olympian and has won two gold medals and two silver medals. Hamlin is a four-time Olympian who won a bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games and is a two-time world champion. She is retiring after these Olympics.