1. ITV Report

Embarrassing start to Sochi Games as Olympic ring fails to open

Only four of the five Olympic rings lit up in the opening ceremony at Sochi today. Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble

In what appeared to be a technical hiccup during the opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Sochi today, one of the five rings that make up the Games' symbol failed to open.

The apparent failure meant the ring could not be illuminated by fireworks as had happened during rehearsals.

All five rings opened during the rehearsals but one stalled in the opening ceremony. Credit: REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Five giant snowflake-shaped structures suspended from the roof of the Fisht Stadium on the shores of the Black Sea in Sochi were supposed to open into circles and then light up with pyrotechnics. Only four opened, and that particular feature, near the very start of the 2-1/2-hour high-octane opening ceremony before 40,000 spectators, was abandoned.

Team GB enters the Fisht Stadium during the athletes parades. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Team GB was led by flagbearer Jon Eley and tweeted this picture from the athletes parade:

Team GB's Jon Eley leads his team mates out during the Opening Ceremony. Credit: @teamgb/instagram
Speed skater Jon Eley from team GB carrying the Union Jack at the ceremony. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

TeamGB's short track speed skater Jack Whelbourne sent this selfie from the Fisht stadium:

During the ceremony, viewers were taken on a journey through Russian history, featuring troikas and Russian circle dancing. The Sochi Games official twitter handle, @2014 tweeted these pictures:

The mascots of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: a hare, a bear and a leopard. Credit: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Russian President Vladimir Putin has staked his reputation on staging a safe and successful Games, despite threats from Islamist militants to disrupt them.

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