There has been no shortage of coverage for this year’s winter Olympics, held in Sochi, Russia. While the press may include a lot of negatives, the opening ceremonies proved to be mostly positive, despite a few technical difficulties. Fortunately, this isn’t the first time something in an Olympic ceremony has not gone as planned (flashback to the Olympic games held in Vancouver, Sydney, and Seoul). All technicalities aside, the opening ceremonies provided guests with many memories that will not be soon forgotten.
The theme of the ceremonies was centered around the story of a little Russian girl named Lubov, which is Russian for “love.” The audience was first exposed to many elements of Russian history and geography, as told by Lubov. The entire night featured over 3,000 performers, 600 costumes, and 2.64 million luminary objects, creating an overall “dream-like” atmosphere for all those in attendance.
Unlike most Olympic opening ceremonies, the athletes, that represented 97 nations, entered the arena from an underground ramp in the center of the stadium, as opposed to entering in at the sides. They were led by their flag, creating a patriotic feeling during the introductions.
Among many other awe-striking moments, perhaps one of the most memorable was when the arena transformed into a life-like snowglobe. There was artificial “snow” that fell from the sky and colorful set pieces that replicated St. Basil’s Cathedral, which floated into the sky. This scene was even more magical with the help of the dancers and acrobats that brought the moment full circle.
While the evening was a spectacular sight, it would be near impossible for an event at this capacity to go without a glitch. The blunder just so happened to effect the revealing of the Olympic rings. The five rings started out as illuminated snowflakes that were raised in the air, high above the crowd. As they made their transformation from the intricately designed snowflakes to the iconic Olympic rings, only four of the five made the full transformation. Instead of the image that is recognizable almost everywhere, the audience saw four connected rings and one snowflake by it’s lonesome.
To end the ceremonies, the Olympic torch was relayed in by Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who then passed it off to other Russian Olympic athletes including Elena Isinbaeva, Alexandr Karelin, Alina Kabaeva, Irina Rodnina, and Vladislav Tretyak. The torch was rushed out of the stadium to the cauldron which was lit and then within minutes, the sky erupted into an unforgettable fireworks show that truly started the Olympics off with a bang.
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