Sochi Opening Ceremony Not Easily Forgotten

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 7.54.48 AM-by Arielle Blacklow and Emily Chen- As a country, Russia has certainly been feeling the heat. Already put on the international stage with the recent scrutiny of its anti-LGBT laws, it also happens to be hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in the city of Sochi. With the rumored potential of terrorist attacks and riots, concern for the safety of the athletes and fans has made some people skeptical that Russia can deliver a spectacular yet well guarded XXII Olympic Games. Fortunately, last Friday’s $50 billion opening ceremony displayed a promising start to the Games, with a mixture of ancient and modern animation and art. Millions of fans in the crowd and at home watched as over 25,000 athletes representing 88 countries were welcomed to the Games in the traditional walk-in of all of the represented nations. Afterwards, Russia showcased some of its most famous dancers, opera singers, and athletes in numerous acts, including one in which thousands of dancers moved in synchrony to form a Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 7.54.36 AMmassive whale shape. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko sang the Olympic Anthem, and six of Russia’s most accomplished athletes were given the coveted opportunity to carry the Olympic Torch. The ceremony also covered the country’s long history with Imperialism and the Soviet Union, and incorporated tributes to its cold climate and snow legends with massive snow globe apparitions and the formation of the five intertwined Olympic rings from linked snowflakes. Despite the hitch in which the fifth Olympic ring failed to open up, the night was elaborate and exciting and a reminder to us all that the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games will not be easily forgotten.