Russian duo t.A.T.u. Lena Katina, third from left, and Yulia Volkova, second from left, perform on stage before the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

We’re just a few minutes from the start of Opening Ceremonies, and Fisht Stadium appears packed, the crowd thoroughly hyped by a “pre-show” performance staged by a series of Russian pop stars.

The emcees charged with firing up the crowd have complimented the throng for their loud cheers, comparing them to the huge meteorite that slammed into Russia not long ago. Then came a spirited plea for all to do that “famous stadium trick” Russia has been waiting six years to perform: The Wave!

Closing the pre-show hoopla was the pop duo t.A.T.u. — an interesting choice.

Hipsters may recall t.A.T.u. music videos in which they feign a lesbian relationship. But Russian officials dmissed any suggestion that the duo was invited in response to criticism of the Russian law that has been perceived as anti-gay, criminalizing any propaganda about non-traditional relations to minors.

Rather, they said t.A.T.u. was chosen for the pre-show because it’s one of the few popular Russian bands known beyond the country’s borders and that its song “You Can’t Catch Us” “Not Gonna Get Us” serves as a fitting sporting motto. Here at Fisht Stadium, they mainly jumped up and down in matching outfits.

The lights have come up, and we’re in a pause, waiting for the real pageant to begin.


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