The days leading up to Sochi were fraught with issues with terrorism, and allegations that Sochi hotels were bugged by the government. However, with over $50 billion spent on the Winter Olympics, more than four times the amount originally planned, one would expect the opening ceremony at least, to be perfect. That was not to be the case though; a host of issues occurred, culminating with the failure of the Olympic rings display to complete.
Originally, the fireworks were supposed to grow from five snowflakes into five interlocking rings–the symbol of the Olympics. Needless to say, as one can deduce from the photo above, things didn’t quite go as planned. The rightmost top ring failed to expand, looking like an asterisk next to the other four. And according to some sources, that wasn’t the only way the rings failed; after becoming the Olympic logo, they were supposed to have exploded in a display of fireworks.
To Russian TV viewers though, everything seemed to go as planned. After host broadcaster Rossiya 1 realized the disaster-in-the-making, he quickly cut away to pre-recorded footage of the ceremony. When queried by journalists, producers commented that it was an important move to protect the image of the Olympics and that it was not the first time such a thing had been done.
On a more amusing note, The Daily Currant, a well known internet comedy site, decided to poke fun at Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, with an article titled “Man Responsible for Ring Mishap Found Dead in Sochi”. The less savvy internet users among us were fooled and believed it to be a legitimate report, despite the ridiculousness of the article (quoted below).
“Sure there were stab wounds and bruises all over the body,” admits the lead investigator on the case, “But who knows what caused them. Maybe he tripped and fell on a set of knives. Right now we’re ruling this an accidental death…It’s terrible when accidents like this happen. But then again, maybe Mr. Avdeyev should have thought twice before he screwed up the Olympics. Accidents tend to happen to people who betray Russia.”
Perhaps it is due to Russia’s notoriety that so many were fooled–unbelievably, the story was shared over 20,000 times on Facebook and Twitter.