The Sochi Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games began so spectacularly, with a young child being lifted into the air amid nine gargantuan floating ships. But it didn't take long for something to go wrong.
As a fog-wreathed chorus dressed in traditional Russian costumes sang, five snowflakes rose gracefully above the stadium floor:
Lovely, yes? And you could see what was coming next. Slowly but surely, the snowflakes began to transform:
Well, almost all of them did. And then we had a nearly-complete set of Olympic rings:
Well, it was close, albeit with a built-in asterisk. The Sochi Olympics: 80 percent ready to roll.
For more photos of the Opening Ceremony click on the photo below: