The Sochi Winter Olympics transformed into the biggest and most expensive event of its kind thanks to the $40 billion spent by the Russian government, but first impressions about the Opening Ceremony are silenced as all eyes remain on Russia until February 23. President Vladimir Putin is reportedly highly involved in the proper functioning of the games, which is the reason why the famous event was kindly dubbed “Putin’s Winter Olympics.”
These days, all eyes are on Russia. The first impressions of the Winter Olympics’ Opening Ceremony cannot match the feeling of the 40.000 people who witness the show of a lifetime. The games started with a slight delay, but more importantly with the reminder that Russia has had an incredible influence on the world as we know it, starting from Leo Tolstoy to Anton Chekhov. This day is Russia’s time to shine, set records and amaze the millions of viewers with the most impressive Winter Olympics held so far. The fireworks caress the lines of the imposing venue and the countdown begins; the Winter Olympics have started.
The show debuts on Russia’s beloved song “Polyushka Polye” and portrays the diversity of the largest country in the world, then the symbol of the Olympic Games is formed. However, the greatest Winter Olympics is inaugurated with a minor mistake when the last circle remains unopened and the remaining four give the press a reason to twitter. Irrespective of the technical blooper, the show goes on and the spotlight is shared by the people who made the event possible, namely Russian President Vladimir Putin and Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee.
Russia’s national hymn resounds through every corner of the imposing location and gives goosebumps not only to the thousands of people present at the Opening Ceremony, but also to all the viewers who, irrespective of their feelings for the Soviet country, surrender in the face of emotion. A map of the world is sketched on the immense ground of the location and with each country that presents itself in front of the crowd, the shape of the specific nation lightens up.
There will be 98 events closely observed by millions of people, but today all eyes are on Russia and the first impressions about the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony are overwhelming not only for the sportspeople who carry the flags of their countries and the hopes of their coaches, but also for the commentators who feel and breathe these moments.
The delegation of The United States did not fail its supporters and although president Barack Obama could not be present, the American patriotism made its presence felt through the impressive number of people who marched along with the one who proudly held the country’s flag. At the other extreme, the country with the least number of sportspeople was Tonga, whose only sportsman made the audience burst into applause.
Then, all eyes moved on Jamaica, whose sportspeople couldn’t afford to buy skates and to come to Sochi, but the $40.000 which stood between them and the opportunity of a lifetime were raised in only two days and the team could walk on Russian ground and hold the national flag. The Russian team closed the parade of the countries, but another premiere was only noted by commentators, who saw that for the first time in history, the presentation of the sportspeople was made halfway to the Opening Ceremony so that they can admire the show.
The first impressions of the Winter Olympics’ Opening Ceremony can be summarized in only a few words, which mark a surprising face of the Russians, namely that they are great performers. Everything that happened up to this point pales as Russia sends its gymnasts to show the world that it deserves all the attention it receives. All eyes are on Russia now.
By Gabriela Motroc