Malfunctioning Ring Is Only Blemish Of Sochi Games Opening Ceremony
The Sochi Games are officially underway after the completion of Friday's Opening Ceremony. The "first torchbearer to enter the stadium" was Maria Sharapova, who handed the torch to pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva. Former rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva, long rumored to be Vladimir Putin’s girlfriend, handed the torch to former Russian Olympians Vladislav Tretiak and Irina Rodnina, who lit the cauldron (NYTIMES.com, 2/7).
The Opening Ceremony “got off to a shaky start” after “one of the five Olympic rings failed to open at the start” of the ceremony. The symbol “could not be illuminated with fireworks as planned” because of the technical glitch. The sequence “had to be abandoned” and the show “went on with no further interruptions” (REUTERS, 2/7).