World

February 21, 2014

Soldiers see Russian history at Sochi Opening Ceremony

Skaters adorn Fisht Olympic Stadium during Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 7 in Sochi, Russia.

SOCHI, Russia – Team USA marched into Fisht Olympic Stadium to thunderous applause during an opening ceremony choreographed to highlight centuries of Russian folklore and history.

Ten soldiers from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program are in Sochi for the XXII Olympic Winter Games, and WCAP bobsled driver Sgt. Nick Cunningham was among those smiling and waving to 40,000 spectators in the stadium and a worldwide television audience Feb. 7.

“I’m overwhelmed with joy and pride,” Cunningham said after closely following the Stars and Stripes as Team USA — decked out in blue, star-studded jackets — paraded into the ceremony.

Russian President Vladimir Putin watched from a skybox. He welcomed the athletes from 97 nations and officially opened the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

The main character in the ceremony, however, was a young Russian girl named Lubov, meaning “love.” She guided the audience through generations of Russian heritage. The culture of 180 different Russian ethnic groups was displayed during what organizers dubbed the “most technologically innovative” show in Olympic history.

The extravaganza featured 2.64 million luminary objects produced by 132 projectors, and spectators wore flickering medallions in the grandstands, adding to the dazzling array of flashing lights. An aerial track on the arena roof pulled more than 80 large illuminated props across the ceiling. Twenty-five lifts and 18 traps on the stadium floor enabled props and performers to transition between the ceremony’s 13 scenes.

Three thousand performers, including Russian ballet stars, circus professionals, acrobats and young volunteers, adorned more than 6,000 costumes.

Opening ceremony producer Konstantin Ernst said he wanted to reveal Russian history in a manner that had not been seen, an exhibition “untainted by decades [of] propaganda and the Cold War.”

U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program bobsledder Sgt. Dallas Robinson of Georgetown, Ky. (center with arms upraised) and WCAP bobsled teammate Capt. Chris Fogt of Alpine, Utah (just to the right of Robinson with fists upraised) march into Fisht Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 7 at Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia.

Unlike other Olympic opening ceremonies in which athletes entered the stadium from corner portals, here they seemingly came from underground, parading up a ramp from the middle of the playing field.

Following the speech of Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko, International Olympic Coimmittee President Bach took the stage. He recounted how the Russians’ passion for sports on snow and ice prompted them to build the winter resorts around Sochi in just seven years, while other nations took decades to develop such facilities. He thanked the Russian hosts and challenged all athletes and their leaders to live up to the Olympic dream.

“Olympic Games are always about building bridges to bring people together,” Bach said. “Olympic Games are never about erecting walls to keep people apart. Olympic Games are a sports festival embracing human diversity in great unity.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy of the International Military Student Office

IMSO plays integral part in international students’ lives here

Courtesy of the International Military Student Office International military students meet U.S. Representative Ron Barber while taking a week-long trip to Washington D.C. The trip was organized by the International Military Stu...
 
 
untitled

Air Force: Air advisors train Afghan pilots and maintainers

Two Afghan pilot students, faces blurred for security purposes, do a preflight check on a Cessna 182 at Shindand Airfield, Afghanistan. U.S. military advisors are training Afghan military members to fly and maintain aircraft at...
 
 
131115-F-SI013-017

Airmen shift from exercise to real-world relief efforts

Lt. Col. Jeff Menasco, 36th Airlift Squadron commander, briefs a team of Airmen from Yokota Air Base, Japan, on their mission to support the disaster relief effort in the Philippines at U-Taphao Airport, Thailand, Saturday. The...
 

 
131118-M-ZZ999-001

31st MEU assesses remote sites with Osprey, delivers help

U.S. Marine Cpl. Stephen Jarrell, of Toledo, Ohio, a crew chief with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, observes a destroyed village from a MV-22B Osprey aircraft as a bilateral assessment team lands to deliver relief and de...
 
 
jag-260

Just 10 things can help people avoid fraud

International scam artists use clever schemes to defraud millions of people across the globe each year, threatening financial security and generating substantial profits for criminal organizations and common crooks. They use ph...
 
 
DoD

U.S.-Afghanistan alliance important to DOD, spokesman says

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government’s designation of Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally is “extremely important” to the Defense Department, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Monday. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the designation Saturday after meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the Afghan capital of Kabul. It is intended to provide a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin