The Sochi Opening Ceremony had a glitch Friday when one of the Olympic rings failed, though the night was rescued by the spectacle of ballet dancers, musical numbers, and stunning visuals.
The plan was for each of the five large Olympic rings to unfurl from lighted snowflake-like shapes dangling from the roof of Fisht Stadium, but only four worked.
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The Associated Press later reported that Russian TV showed a clip on television of all five rings opening
with on-cue pyrotechnics, but neither of those things happened at the actual ceremony. Producers confirmed to the AP that they used other footage to "preserve the imagery of the Olympic symbols."
One of the highlights of the evening came when cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who has logged more days in orbit than anyone, raised the Russian flag.
The games, which take place from Feb. 7-23, officially opened to a burst of fireworks, and included a young girl being hoisted into the air on a harness, as well as athletes taking part in the traditional parade.
Overall, the Opening Ceremony brought spectators through Russia's history, geography, and athletic and artistic achievements, complete with more than 3,000 performers.
Millions of people are expected to watch the games on television and the Internet as the country hosts its first Winter Olympics.
Hours before Opening Day, four gay-right activists were arrested protesting in St. Petersburg.
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