U.S. athletes are greeted with hearty applause at Sochi’s Opening Ceremony

Taking part in the Opening Ceremony’s Parade of Nation’s represents a glorious moment and a lifetime memory for Olympic athletes and their families, as well as a point of pride for the countrymen.

To others, it’s a fashion show. And every color imaginable is on display here in Sochi, as well as every approach to tailoring.

Let’s start with what appears to be a hundreds of human snowballs — men and women in grey pants and enormous, furry. white hooded tops with padded bellies — that ring the stadium floor, gyrated to a pulsing dance track as the athletes march in.

Midway through the introductions, I’m struck by Mexico’s smartly tailored outfits; the elegant and understated outfits worn by Monaco, which brought Prince Albert, a former Olympic bobsledder, to his feet; and the Netherlands’ unquenchable thirst for the color orange. Orange tasseled knitted caps, orange scarves and orange shoelaces.

Now comes the United States, with Todd Lodwick bearing the flag. The crowd cheers, apparently willing to forgive their garish red, white and blue sweaters. The Americans wave, pump their arms and hoist cell phone cameras aloft, capturing the moment.

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Liz Clarke | February 7