Russian state television airs a false flawless opening ceremony

BY Joshua Barajas  February 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM EDT

The fifth snowflake failed to open into an Olympic ring properly during the opening ceremony in the Fisht Stadium at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. On Russian television, producers replaced the missed cue with dress rehearsal footage of all five snowflakes forming into the Olympic rings and the display ending in pyrotechnics. Photo by Associated Press

State television aired a version of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia with no glitches Friday, despite earlier reports of a malfunction that marred a display of all five Olympic rings, the Associated Press reports.

During the live event in the Fisht Stadium, the fifth snowflake in a light display failed to fully expand and join the other four snowflakes to form the Olympic symbols. The scene was also supposed to end in pyrotechnics, which never occurred.

The AP reports that the Russian host broadcaster, Rossiya 1, inserted pre-recorded footage that showed the ceremony happening without a hitch. For its viewers, all five snowflakes properly expanded without missing a cue, and fireworks went off.

The ceremony’s executive creative director, Konstantin Ernst, referred to the swap as an “open secret.” The cause of the flub was attributed to a stage manager’s bad command.

This is also not the first time a minor controversy followed an Olympic opening ceremony.