Gustavo Garcia - Friday Feb. 7, 2014 20:10 ET

Opening ceremony ring malfunction: Newsmaker

Technical glitch highlights event

Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony
One of the rings forming the Olympic Rings fails to open during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday.
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Remember four years ago when the Vancouver Games opening ceremony was supposed to have four torch-bearers simultaneously light the cauldron through large mechanical columns inside BC Place, but one of the arms failed to move?

Wayne Gretzky, Steve Nash and Nancy Greene were able to light the flame, leaving Catriona Le May Doan standing awkwardly in front of her immovable pillar.

The mishap quickly became a trending topic among media outlets and I thought: “How can something like this happen? They had four years to prepare!”

Well, guess what? It happened again. Four years later.

During the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games opening ceremony Friday at Fisht Stadium, five giant snowflakes flew around the arena before expanding into glowing rings and merging together. However, one of the rings remained a snowflake due to technical malfunctions.

That awkward moment again.

The five rings were supposed to combine and form the historic Olympic symbol, marking the beginning of the Games with a spectacular set of fireworks.

It didn’t go quite as expected for the organizers. The fifth ring never expanded and most viewers were left waiting for the pyrotechnics.

And I said “most” because spectators in Russia who tuned in to watch the event on Rossiya 1, host broadcaster in Russia, saw all five rings come together and the fireworks go off.

Producers in Sochi made the executive decision to use footage pre-recorded for emergencies.

According to Konstantin Ernst, executive creative director of the opening ceremony, preserving the images and Olympic tradition was the priority.

While artistic director George Tsypin made sure to throw his stage manager under the bus, blaming him for a bad command during the ring presentation.

Another incredible opening show that will be unfairly remembered for a mechanical glitch.

In this case, a shy giant snowflake.

It might not be as easy to organize the opening show of the biggest international event in the world of sports after all.

(With files from The Associated Press)

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