The long-awaited Winter Olympic Games began Friday night on NBC. The ceremony opened with an acrobatic performance by a 10-year-old girl. The NBC announcers said it was difficult to find the right child to fill the role because she had to be “fearless.” She was held up by tightropes and was spun around the arena.
Following the young girl, the Olympic logo was unveiled in wire and unfolded. However, one of the rings didn’t fully expand, leading to four-and-a-half circles for the logo. It was a particularly embarrassing moment for the Sochi Olympic Games that has had its fair share over the past few days.
After the logo malfunction, a group of people emerged dressed in white, blue and red—the flag of Russia—while playing the state anthem of the Russian Federation.
The Parade of Nations then began. It opened with Greece, with NBC’s graphic underneath with the population and number of athletes participating.
The different athletes and countries continued to pour out individually for a half-hour—until finally it was the United States’ turn. The 230 athletes came out to the stage, waving to the crowd and taking photos and videos.
They wore the polarizing sweaters designed by Ralph Lauren, blue with white stars and red lettering.
Lastly in the Parade of Nations, the Russian athletes emerged to music blaring throughout the arena.
Following the Parade of Nations, a video was shown describing the history of Russia and the background of the Olympic Games. However, nothing in the video was shown about the history of communism and the Soviet Union, leading to some backlash on social media. The performance then began with many different dances, one of which was a dance on top of a projection of a Russian ship. Other dances included women with blue stringy dresses, making them look like jellyfish floating around the arena.
IOC President Thomas Back also gave a speech, welcoming the athletes and congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin. World-renowned tennis player Maria Sharapova ran the Olympic Torch to the stage, ending the Opening Ceremony in fireworks.
The Opening Ceremony was a mix of different historical, global and Russian cultures. However, it went a little long and I started to drift in and out of caring about what was happening in front of me.
BSU at the Games is a freelance news agency operated by 22 student journalists reporting from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games through an immersive-learning program at Ball State University.