Sochi's Olympic Rings Malfunction During Opening Ceremony, And Yes, That's A Terrible Omen

Uh oh, Putin's not going to be happy about this. A pivotal moment of 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremony featured massive mechanical snowflakes that blossomed into the five Olympic rings. Unfortunately, one of the Olympic ring snowflakes malfunctioned, leaving the scene looking rather lopsided. Ooops. The moment is even more of a letdown, since Olympic rings represent world unity.

According to the Olympic Museum:

The five rings represent the five continents. They are interlaced to show the universality of Olympism and the meeting of the athletes of the world during the Olympic Games. On the Olympic flag, the rings appear on a white background. Combined in this way, the six colors of the flag (blue, yellow, black, green, red and white) represent all nations.

French aristocrat Baron de Coubertin designed the Olympic rings, which first appeared at the 1920 Games in Antwerp, Belgium. He originally drew it as a logo for the International Olympic Committee's 20th anniversary, but everybody really liked them. Though legend has it that the rings were based on an ancient drawing in Greece, that's a myth.

On Friday, while music from Alex Clare blasted in the background and after "pseudo-lesbian" group t.A.T.u. performed at the pre-show ceremony, the Russians unveiled a traditional, high-culture performance. The ceremony began with an interpretation of the Russian alphabet through the eyes of a little girl, before moving on to the country's cultural achievements. Then came Ring Malfunction-gate.

Besides the media poking fun of Russia's inability to stage a flawless opening show, the malfunction might cause some to raise more than an eyebrow. Can't you already hear people claiming that the snowflake was intentionally broken — that it symbolizes Russia's shutting out of gay people, or refusal to negotiate with the international community?

And the malfunctions didn't stop there: As the Austrian delegate marched into the Parade Of Nations, one member fell over.

All this, of course, comes on the heels of international tension over Russia's anti-gay policies, the threat of terrorism from suicide bombers of the Caucasus Mountains, and even potential toothpaste bombs.

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