Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony: Rings Display Malfunctions, Fails to Light Up

Credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images

Getting things started off with a . . . screw-up. The opening ceremony for the Sochi Games in Russia suffered an embarrassing technical malfunction inside the Fisht arena. The iconic Olympic Rings display failed to illuminate properly -- with only four of them lighting up. See more opening ceremony pictures here.

As the spectacle was originally conceived, five glowing snowflakes emerged from a wintry scene; as they floated on top of the arena, each snowflake, one-by-one, transformed into the rings formation. Alas, for the ceremony on Friday, Feb. 7, only four of the five snowflakes successfully transformed.

After the snafu -- the unveiling of the rings is typically a symbolic big moment in opening ceremonies -- the display was eventually darkened and removed from the arena as President Vladimir Putin greeted the stadium.

As previously promised, Russian pop duo t.A.t.u. -- famous for their faux-lesbian song and video "All the Things She Said" -- performed during the ceremony, holding hands onstage. Their appearance was a surprising choice, given Russia's vehement anti-gay laws.

For more on the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi -- including personal stories from the Team USA athletes, and tons of photos -- pick up Us Weekly's special Olympics bookazine!