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Sochi Olympics: Ring malfunctions at opening ceremony

One of the rings forming the Olympic Rings fails to open during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia (7 Feb. 2014) Image copyright AP
Image caption The Sochi rings: One remained a snowflake

A technical hitch during the lavish opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Sochi meant that the last of the five rings making up the Olympic symbol failed to open.

Five giant snowflakes descended into the stadium and were then meant to open up to form the rings.

The fifth snowflake did appear to open on some TV feeds, sparking questions as to whether the footage was edited.

The ceremony's producer Konstantin Ernst dismissed the malfunction.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Russia viewers saw recorded footage at the key moment

"It would be ridiculous to focus on this ring that never opened, it would be simply silly," he said.

Mr Ernst said as producers had known several seconds in advance that the ring would not pop up they were able to alert the Russian channel, which broadcast some pre-shot footage instead.

"Let us not make a sensation out of that," he said.

Image copyright Allsport/Getty Images
Image caption All five rings were visible on the TV feed reaching the presidential lounge and Vladimir Putin

The missing ring caused amusement on social media, with tweeters joking that it was afraid to come out due to Russia's stance on gay rights.

The Sochi Games is the most expensive Olympics in history, costing around $50bn (£30bn).

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