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SBD Global/October 14, 2013/Olympics

Sochi Organizers Face Challenges Ahead Of Olympic Opening Ceremonies

While dozens of nations will compete in the games for sporting glory, "the opening ceremonies will provide the host country an opportunity to showcase its own achievements," according to Ivan Nechepurenko of the MOSCOW TIMES. And just as the athletes will face off against one another, "Russia's opening show will inevitably be compared to that of previous Olympics." Given the success of the ceremonies that opened the two most recent Summer Games, Sochi 2014 organizers "face a tough challenge." A source involved in the ceremonies said that "organizers have faced difficulties trying to come up with content that will resonate with international audiences." The source said, "In the case of London 2012, they could use their rock bands, while Russia faces a much tougher challenge." Responsibility for matching the exploits of past Games has been given to Channel One General Dir Konstantin Ernst, "Russia's top media executive." The content of the ceremonies "has been largely kept under a veil of secrecy, but a few details have been leaked to the public." According to a report in Kremlin-connected newspaper Izvestia, the diversity and size of Russia will be represented by a variety of famous historical figures, "such as Tsar Peter the Great, and natural landmarks, including Mount Elbrus in the North Caucasus, the White Sea in the Arctic, the Ural Mountains and Lake Baikal." Iconic Russian avant-garde architecture and art "will also play a role" (MOSCOW TIMES, 10/10).

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