Sochi Olympics 2014 Opens with Just Four Rings; Russian TV Hides Malfunction

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By Keerthi Mohan | February 8, 2014 5:30 PM EST

The opening ceremony of Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia saw a slight technical glitch, following which one of the five Olympic rings failed to align itself with the others.

Reuters
Four out of five Olympic rings are seen lit up during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014.

Five snowflakes floating above the heads of spectators was supposed to join together and form the Olympic rings. But one appeared to get stuck resulting in four Olympic rings and an asterisk.

However, Russian television masked the failure when the event was telecast.

Broadcaster Rossiya 1 used the rehearsal footage, when the rings failed to come together, and producers confirmed to Mail Online that the switch had happened so as to preserve the imagery of the Olympic symbols.

“This is certainly bad, but it does not humiliate us,” Konstantin Ernst, executive creative director of the opening ceremony told reporters, according to Mail Online. He added that the use of pre-recorded footage was an “open secret”.

In yet another mishap, a stray dog was seen roaming around the stadium during the opening ceremony.

"#SOCHI #Olympics : Stray dog strolls into stadium ahead of opening ceremony. They missed one," tweeted writer Leah McElrath, sharing a photo of the stray.

For the past few months, Russia has been attempting to keep its stray dog problem in check. On Thursday, the Humane Society of the United States, in an open letter to Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said that more “humane” measures should be adopted to deal with the strays.

"Just as Olympic athletes became role models for billions of young people, so do host countries's preparations serve as examples for future Olympic venues to follow," C. Thomas McMillen, who played in the 1972 Summer Olympics, wrote in the open letter.

"The socially responsible and ethical way forward is to adopt and implement easily available humane methods rather than hunting down and poisoning these animals as all the world watches."

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Four out of five Olympic rings are seen lit up during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014.
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