Sochi's Olympic organizers had a small malfunction with the opening of the five Olympic rings, making for a few easy jokes. But it's not the first and certainly not the last example of an Opening Ceremonies fail. Here's a brief history of those errors, from unintentionally sacrificed peace doves to malfunctioning torches.
Seoul's flaming peace doves
There are really only two images you need to see to understand the flaming peace doves of Seoul. Here's a before and an after.
Fly, doves, fly! Why didn't they just leave the torch area? Those peace doves can never seem to catch a break.
At the 2010 Opening Ceremonies, only three of the four cauldrons correctly lifted into their proper position, leaving Canadian speedskater Catriona LeMay Doan without a torch to light. A malfunctioning pillar mechanical system was to blame as Lemay Doan twiddled her thumbs instead.
At Beijing's 2008 Olympics, viewers were treated to adorable little girl Lin Miaoke, who appeared to sing a lovely intro song. But she was actually just lip-syncing those words, as the true singer was deemed 'too ugly' for the spotlight. The show's musical director defended that decision, saying, "We combined the perfect voice and the perfect performance." Beijing's ceremony also saw the projection of a computer's blue screen of death on the Bird's Nest.
Whether digital or mechanical, no opening showcase can escape the folly of human nature. And that's true for the host country's planning as well as just your regular old klutziness:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.