In Sochi, a new twist on the Parade of Nations

February 7, 2014

Flags are seen during the welcoming ceremonies of the delegations ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics, on February 5, 2014 at the Amphitheatre Square in Sochi. (ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images)

SOCHI, Russia — For many, the Parade of Nations is one of the more emotional sections of the Opening Ceremony, when the Olympic athletes of each participating country march into the stadium.

But to Konstantin Ernst, creative producer of the Sochi Opening Ceremony, it was “one of the longest and more boring parts of the ceremony.” So he revised to make it more “dynamic,” giving a preview in a press briefing Friday.

Designed to appeal to the worldwide TV audience more so than the 40,000 spectators at Fisht Stadium, the Parade of Nations will be set against an image of Earth, projected on a giant screen, as seen from outer space. Each time a country is announced, the Earth will rotate so that particular country is in focus. Then, on the stadium floor, a ramp will open up, and that nation’s athletes will emerge from the heart of their homeland.

As is IOC custom, Greece will parade first, and athletes of the host nation, Russia, will be announced last. But for those following along on TV, it’s important to note that the countries will march in according to alphabetical order: In this case, the Russian alphabet.

Seven countries are making their Winter Games debut: Dominica, Malta, Paraguay, East Timor (Timor-Leste), Togo, Tonga and Zimbabwe. Among the notable athletes vying for Olympic glory in Sochi are a Russian luger and Japanese ski jumper competing in a record seventh Winter Games, a 55-year-old Mexican alpine skier and freshly minted 2012 London Olympic gold medalist Lauryn Williams, who has transitioned from track to bobsled.

 

More Olympics news

Only rich countries win medals

What is the world’s favorite Olympic sport?

Wise: At Sochi Olympics, it’s fear, loathing . . . and tests of medal

From D.C. coffee shop to Olympic ice

The evolution of sports in the Winter Olympics

USOC CEO voices confidence in Russian security

Photos: 14 U.S. athletes to watch in Sochi

 

 

 

Liz Clarke currently covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post, she has also covered five Olympic Games, two World Cups and written extensively about college sports, tennis and auto racing.
Continue reading
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

sports

olympics

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters