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

The Olympic rings are presented during the Opening Ceremony

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!

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!