There have been many unhappy moments at Olympic opening ceremonies. Here are the ten worst, embarrassing, controversial or just odd moments in Olympic Games Opening Ceremony history:
2012 U.S. Uniforms Made in China
American team members will march into the London stadium wearing Chinese-made uniforms. To me they look more like 1920s yachters than 2012 athletes. On their heads will be navy blue berets with tricolor stripes, more appropriate for French sailors.
It Happened In Beijing, Too
News reports revealed that the 2008 American Olympic outfits were also made in China, as were those for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Designer Ralph Lauren promised it wouldn't happen again in 2014.
Big Money Spent in Beijing
The Chinese went all out to make their 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony the most expensive ever. There were more than 15,000 performers, backed by enormous fireworks displays costing $100 million. Think of what all that money could have bought in food and other necessities for poor Chinese citizens?
Unexpected Korea Pigeon Sacrifice
For ceremonies before the 1988 games in South Korea, doves were released over the stadium. Just as athletes lit the Olympic torch, many doves roosted on the cauldron edge, only to be killed by the sudden flame. The practice wasn't repeated.
Contrasting Emotions at 1996 Altanta Olympics
The Opening Ceremony showing a fragile Muhammad Ali lighting the flame was deeply moving. It also featured 30 pick-up trucks, making the ceremony look like a good old boys' Georgia road rally.
Deutchland Uber Alles
When future Queen Elizabeth II arrived at the Berlin stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the 1936 Olympics, the British national anthem sounded for the first and only time. The German band serenaded Adolf Hitler by playing its national anthem more than 400 times.
Temporary Korean Togetherness
In the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney games, North and South Korean athletes marched together. Angry gestures and curses by furious coaches from each team threatened to renew the war right there in the stadium.
Missing The 1980 Moscow Olympics
Opening ceremonies in 1980 and 1984 were much leaner than expected. Because of U.S.S.R. invaders in Afghanistan, the U.S. didn't participate in the Moscow Olympics in 1980. The Soviet Union retaliated by boycotting the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
No L'Amour In Montreal
Runner Stephane Prefontaine lit the flame with Toronto track star Sandra Henderson. News reports said a flaming romance began there, but after the 1976 games the athletes confessed it was all a publicity stunt.
Stars And Stripes Forever
The Opening Ceremony at the 1908 London Olympics featured athletes carrying their countries' flags for the first time. In the stadium was an array of all national flags. The Americans were insulted because theirs was missing. In retaliation, the American flag bearer refused to dip his banner as he passed King Edward VII's royal box.