The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

February 7, 2014

Pseudo-lesbians, ballet, in Sochi Olympics opening

SOCHI, Russia —  A pseudo-lesbian pop duo, a famed opera singer and a romp through Russian history await viewers as the Sochi Winter Olympics launch Friday with an opening ceremony meant to showcase to the world the ultimate achievement of Vladimir Putin's Russia.

In a provocative choice, Russian singers Tatu will perform before the 3,000 athletes march through a stadium on the shores of the Black Sea, one of the many newly built facilities in the most expensive Olympics in history.

The women in Tatu put on a lesbian act that is largely seen as an attention-getting gimmick. It contrasts with the very real anger over a Russian law banning gay "propaganda" aimed at minors that is being used to discriminate against gays. Some world leaders and activists have protested the law, and President Barack Obama is skipping the opening ceremony and sending a delegation that includes prominent gay athletes instead.

The opening ceremony is Russia's chance to show itself and its post-Soviet identity to the world. It is likely to lean on Putin's version: a country with a rich and complex history emerging confidently from a rocky two decades and now capable of putting on a major international sports event.

The ceremony will focus on Russia and Olympic ideals of sportsmanship and achievement — not on repression of dissent, fears of terrorism or international political tensions over neighboring Ukraine.

For people who don't know much about Russia, the ceremony's director, Konstantin Ernst, promised "relatively simple metaphors" — and no obscure references, like the nurses in the London Games' opening ceremony representing the National Health Service, which he called one of the most "incomprehensible" moments in Olympic history.

Ernst said Tatu's "Not Gonna Get Us" was chosen because it's one of the only Russian pop songs that international viewers might recognize.

Most of Friday's performance will instead lean on Russia's rich classical music traditions, with piano virtuoso Denis Matsuev performing and opera soprano Anna Netrebko singing the Olympic anthem.

Ernst also argued that the choice of Tatu's song was about motivating athletes with an upbeat dance song that challenges competitors by saying, "You're not going to get us."

Putin referred to none of that when speaking to IOC members and nearly 20 world leaders at a dinner late Thursday, instead stressing the importance of "mutual understanding, justice, pacifism."

"I'm feeling especially positive energy," he said. Despite hang-ups with some hotel rooms and last-minute construction problems, he said he hopes these games "allow people to appreciate our organizational capabilities and our traditional Russian hospitality."

Ernst said the opening and closing ceremonies will make reference to the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, which some view as the first time the opening ceremony became such a big deal.

The show will be focused on TV audiences, with projections onto the stadium floor, so fans in the stands won't enjoy the full effect.

Asked whether Putin might arrive at the ceremony from the air, like stunt actors playing James Bond and Queen Elizabeth II did at in London, Ernst said, "it's hardly worth hoping for that."

The Winter Games ceremony is generally a more low-key event than the summer opener. Ernst said organizers tried to keep it from dragging out too long, since most viewers only care to watch their own team and its key rivals.

But who will carry the Olympic torch to light the cauldron for the games, after the flame's unprecedented journey to the North Pole, the cosmos, Europe's highest mountain peak and beyond?

"It's the biggest secret ever," Ernst said, with a smile.

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Some US colleges calling students back from Israel

    Some U.S. colleges are pulling students from overseas study programs in Israel as the Gaza war rages, though the relative calm beyond the immediate battle areas is raising questions in some quarters about why they had to leave.

    August 21, 2014

  • Instant noodles: Friend or foe?

    Kim Min-koo has an easy reply to new American research that hits South Korea where it hurts — in the noodles. "There's no way any study is going to stop me from eating this," says Kim.

    August 21, 2014

  • Ohio diocese discourages ALS ice bucket challenge

    A Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio is discouraging its 113 schools from participating in the ice bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association, saying the group's funding of embryonic stem cell research is "in direct conflict with Catholic teaching."

    August 21, 2014

  • Charter school to close after cheating revealed

    One of Indianapolis' oldest charter schools will close next month, after an investigation uncovered widespread cheating on its students' state standardized tests in 2013 and 2014.

    August 21, 2014

  • Severe thunderstorm watch until midnight

    The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for portions of central Indiana, including Madison County.

    August 21, 2014

  • US judge strikes down Florida gay marriage ban

    A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining judges across the country who have sided with gay couples wishing to tie the knot.

    August 21, 2014

  • Man pleads guilty in fatal Purdue campus attack

    An Indiana man pleaded guilty Thursday to murder in the fatal shooting and stabbing of a fellow Purdue University student in January.

    August 21, 2014

  • Colts owner's trial on DWI charges postponed

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay's trial on two misdemeanor charges stemming from a March traffic stop has been postponed for two months.

    August 21, 2014

  • US housing recovery appears to be back on track

    A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence Thursday that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year.

    August 21, 2014

  • Stone Brewery not locating in Indiana

    Three Indiana communities, including Anderson, have been elimininated in their bids for Stone Brewing Co.’s East Coast facility.

    August 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Generally speaking, how good are relations among people of different races in the Anderson area?

Very good
Good
OK
Bad
Very bad
     View Results