Winter Olympics 2014: The Best and Worst Moments From the Sochi Opening Ceremonies
Best Choice for Opening Narration
Who better to do the voiceover for the cold weather event than Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage, who’s well-versed in winter (and how it’s, y’know, coming)?
Islands representing different parts of Russia’s vast landscape scrolled by, hoisted in the air by a giant contraption NBC’s Matt Lauer described as similar to the motorized rack at a drycleaner’s shop.
Best Impression of a James Bond Villain
Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over the games with his standard steely gaze, as though a tank full of hungry sharks were just a button’s push away.
So close, snowflakes-turned-Olympic-rings. So close!
Each country’s athletes walked into the arena via a projection of their homeland, making it seem as though they were springing out of a giant map.
The women wearing each nation’s names wore headpieces that could’ve doubled as pie shovels.
The Flying Solo Award: Part 1
Cross-country skier Dr. Tucker Murphy, Bermuda’s lone athlete at the games, rocked his country’s signature shorts and kept his joy in tight check.
The Flying Solo Award: Part 2
Alpine skier Antonio Pardo, Venezuela’s lone athlete at the games, was a wee bit more exuberant.
Best Sartorial Representation of the “U-S-A!” Chant
Team USA’s Polo sweaters proved the athletes were not afraid of a little pattern… or a lot of pattern.
Liza Temnikova, who played a girl whose dreams served as the framing mechanism for the first three hours of the ceremony, broke her arm during rehearsal at the end of 2013 – and still flew about the stadium via harness and trusted her castmates to hoist her high above their heads.
NBC commentator David Remnick referred to the chaotic, bloody Russian Revolution as the “touchiest period of this program.”
Most Iconic Moment
A giant hammer and sickle depicting the Soviet Era got a giant reaction from the crowd.
The “At Least She Didn’t Sprout Feathers” Award
And you thought Darren Aronofsky’s take on Swan Lake was trippy…
Most Welcome Visual
Because once the torch is lit, this looooong ceremony is over, right? Right?!