The 9 Sochi Olympic Opening Ceremony Moments You Won't Want To Miss

The opening ceremonies haven't yet happened on American television, but they're already over in Russia. After a shaky start and a couple of awkward malfunctions, both the pre-show performances and grand opening ceremony ended up looking pretty spectacular. (But of course, Putin couldn't muster a grin...)

From bears to Bolsheviks to badass ballet, these ceremonies certainly had something to say about Russia's history... even if we didn't know quite what it was, and some of it was a touch factually incorrect. Bob Costas will have a lot to talk about when all of this airs stateside, at 7.30 p.m. ET. And trust us — you won't want to miss these nine moments.

t.A.T.u. Performed With Rainbow Dancers

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Although t.A.T.u. made a name for themselves a decade ago for acting like they were actually into each other, they kept it platonic (which, in Russia, unfortunately means “legal”) for their performance at the opening ceremonies.

Still, their dancers wore rainbow tracksuits, just like Team Greece wore rainbow-colored gloves in a show of solidarity for the LGBT community.

Things Got Off To A Rocky Start

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The opening ceremony got off to a rocky start when the fifth ring had trouble, erm, swelling up. (Don’t worry, buddy, there’s probably a pill for that.)

This wasn’t a good omen, since the Olympic rings represent world unity.

A little later on, a member of Team Austria fell over pretty spectacularly while marching in Pride Of Nations. Oops.

Did Everybody Drop Acid?

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There were a few moments when the blown-up buildings and animals started to look like a nightmare brought on by way too much Ambien.

Then These Mascots... Happened

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When this crazed monstrosity skated out, the only acceptable reaction was to take cover and remember that Ted was supposed to be a comedy.

OK, there’s quite the backstory behind these mascots. But we were still frightened, and Charmin wasn’t happy.

The Bolshevik Revolution Rose Again

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Since the Russians chose to take a journey through their history in one of their performances, everyone saw the Communist section coming… and it was as terrifying as we expected.

As a whole, the ceremony was very well-executed — bar those malfunctions — but that doesn’t mean it won’t haunt our nightmares.

The Olympic Chairman Gave A Speech

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Thomas Bach, chief of the International Olympic committee, spoke movingly about the importance of diversity and tolerance in the Games. (Are you listening, Vladimir?)

He also told Russia in no uncertain terms that their anti-gay laws are just not on: ”Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination and in the Olympics spirit,” he said.

After he was done, Putin took the microphone and declared the Games officially begun.

Tron Dancers Danced

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In the second half of the opening ceremonies, Sochi decided to remind everyone that they’re Russian, and finally took us to the ballet… with blue LED neck-fringe-skirts. The whirling tech-erinas then danced Swan Lake.

As if that wasn’t enough, Russia also had roller-skaters in LED costumes spinning in wide circles to resemble the galaxy.

Maria Sharapova Looked Like an Epic Torch-Carrying Battle-Princess

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As the Olympic torch relay finally reached its cauldron-lighting conclusion, Maria Sharapova showed us how awesome she is at walking while carrying a large stick of fire.

Unfortunately, one of the torch-bearers after Sharapova was Putin’s alleged girlfriend, and the skating champion who lit the cauldron, Irina Rodnina, is pretty racist.


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The torch-lighting went all crazy when the fire ascended up the stand to the cauldron. After that, the fireworks started!

As finales go, this one was really something.