The opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia kicks off on Friday, Feb. 7 at Fisht Olympic Stadium.
Every four years, athletes from around the world gather to compete in the biggest international sporting event on the planet, and every four years, the Olympic Games put on a jaw-dropping show for the masses during the opening ceremony.
As usual, event organizers are keeping a tight lid on the upcoming festivities, but there's no shortage of buzz surrounding them. Here's a look at the latest rumors and gab surrounding the opening ceremony for the 2014 Olympic Games.
NBC Will Not Live Stream Opening Ceremony
NBC is carrying the Olympics throughout the course of the Games, and fans will be able to watch every event live online. However, the company has made a decision to broadcast the opening ceremony on television only, which could result in less global exposure.
Obviously, a decision like this wasn't made lightly, however.
Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, stated, "We want to put context to it, with the full pageantry it deserves," as relayed by Brian Steinberg of Variety.com. Steinberg added:
He said executives believed an unvarnished live stream of the colorful ceremonies would not make sense without description. What’s more, the company feels the opening-ceremony telecast is enjoyed by families who gather together, making it a natural for the boob-tube.
While such a view makes some sense, it also means that those who can't make it to a television set will be denied the opportunity to watch the opening ceremony live. It is also a bit presumptuous, as there will likely be plenty of people who would have enjoyed watching online without the commentary.
Team USA's Uniforms Revealed
There was no shortage of strong opinions surrounding Ralph Lauren's design for Team USA's uniform in the 2012 Olympic Games, and the designer is back at it again for the 2014 Winter Games.
Here's a look at the threads Team USA will be wearing during the opening ceremony in Sochi, courtesy of Ralph Lauren:
U.S. bobsledder Matt Antoine appears to love the new look:
Not surprisingly, there are plenty of folks who don't love the look, and TMZ Sports is leading the charge in this regard:
Team USA Athletes -- Our Olympic Sweaters Are UUUUGLY http://t.co/iajmt1e25m— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) January 26, 2014
Love them or hate them, Team USA will celebrate the opening ceremony with them, meaning you'll have plenty of time to see them on your TV on Friday, Feb. 7.
As was previously mentioned, there isn't much in the way of solid rumors about the opening ceremony, but there have been some whispers about some key performers who could be featured.
Viktoria Ivanova of The Telegraph reports, "big stars, such as viola player Yuri Bashmet and conductor Valery Gergiev, will appear."
Ivanova also notes renowned Russian pianist Denis Matsuev said he's set to perform, but he's not giving away any secrets about the show.
“For sure, I am participating in the Olympics," Matsuev said. "But how? I will not disclose secrets. Naturally, I will play the piano and root for our athletes.”
You can be sure the organizers will pull out all the stops to make the upcoming Olympic opening ceremony one we all remember as the greatest spectacle of our lifetimes.
I can't wait.
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