After an early blunder, Sochi ended up putting on a spectacular Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday night.
The big moment came 10 minutes into the ceremony, when a giant Olympic ring apparatus malfunctioned. The rings were supposed to form out of five snowflakes. But the fifth and final snowflake never expanded, making for some embarrassment.
Thing got much better after that. The show featured a ton of dancing, including a tribute to “War and Peace” and an awesome-looking performance of Swan Lake.
Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was one of the final torch bearers. She handed off the torch to figure skater Irina Rodnina and hockey player Vladislov Tretyak, who lit the cauldron in a fiery finale.
All-in-all, it was slightly bizarre but certainly entertaining.
Here’s everything you missed, from our live-blog of the ceremony.
Apparently the “pre-show” is happening now. The main part of the event starts at 14 minutes past 8 p.m. (for 2014)…
You are looking live…
OFF WE GO!
Here’s a quick GIF of the stadium
The ceremony starts with a little girl reading through the cyrillic alphabet. Each letter matched up with a famous Russian invention/person
The fifth snowflake was supposed to turn into a ring but it didn’t…
The parade of nations is under way. Out comes Greece
Another view of the messed up snowflake…
Good view of the rings. They all started as snowflakes, and then expanded into rings. The fifth ring did not
Putin in the VIP box
The parade of nations continues. We’re up to Iran.
Germany looks awesome
PRINCE HUBERTUS VON HOHENLOHE, Mexico’s 55-year-old Olympian
Vladimir Putin and IOC president Thomas Bach look on.
The parade of nations is still cranking. We’re up to Poland.
Chemmy Alcott of the UK is pumped.
There were some fireworks earlier…
Ukraine, amidst domestic turmoil, walks into the stadium
The US team
Close-up of those USA outfits from Shani Davis…
Here come the Russians…
Putin cheering on the Russian team…
Dancing buildings! These are puppets, according to the broadcast
All the reporters in Sochi say this looks awesome in person…
Synchronized marching by a large military body.
The view from the crowd.
The ballet has been the highlight of the show so far.
A tribute to the Russian revolution. Tons of red, lots of trains and gears…
Quite the spectacle..
This is getting good
Really gives you a sense of scale
We’re deep into the speech portion now. The only question left is who will light the Olympic flame
Putin declares the games open!
Putin takes the mic.
Out comes the Olympic flag. Getting close to flame-lighting time.
Swan Lake spin
We’re now singing the Olympic anthem
Taking the Olympic oath. Getting close now…
Skaters with LED lights now flying around the ice while the Tron Legacy soundtrack plays
Maria Sharapova is the first torcher bearer.
Looks like the cauldron will be lit by a Russian figure skater Irina Rodnina and hockey goalie Vladislav Tretyak
There it is!
Here’s a GIF of the lighting