Today in Sochi: Fireworks and flagbearers on fast forward

And why journalists should check their showers for spy cameras

David Goldman/AP

David Goldman/AP

Two years ago, the Queen of England jumped out of a plane with James Bond. Mr. Bean played the theme from Chariots of Fire on piano. A plethora of Mary Poppins descended from the sky, umbrellas and all.

What will Sochi have in store when the Opening Ceremonies kick off at 11amEST/8amPST? More entertainment, more fireworks and less athletes walking around.

Canada’s flagbearer will be women’s hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser, a three-time gold medallist competing in her fifth Olympics.


And she won’t be the only hockey player leading out her country, former Ottawa Senators defenceman and current Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will walk out with the Slovakian flag.

Much of the focus will also be on Russian President Vladimir Putin, but don’t except to hear too much from in terms of a speech.


With no sporting events scheduled for today, journalists also got to spend time wondering about just how much surveillance is focused on them. When reporters arriving in Sochi were quick to point out the less-than-pristine rooms—brown tap water, missing shower curtains, toilets that can’t flush toilet paper—#sochiproblems started trending on Twitter. But then Russian officials snapped back at critics saying they were being sabotaged.

“We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day,” said Dmitry Kozak, the deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Games, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But for the athletes and fans, today is all about the Opening Ceremonies, and the Olympic spirit on display.


Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.