From the one, single athlete from Paraguay, to the hundreds of dancers and performers to the thousands of volunteers, the Opening Ceremony at the Sochi Games can best be described numerically. Compare Slovakia’s 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara to the 25-foot high Polar Bear mascot. And how many Olympic rings are there? Here’s the Opening Ceremony by the numbers:
40,000 – Capacity of Fisht Stadium, home of the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Olympic Winter games. The state-of-the-art arena employs a sophisticated gantry system made of nine rails that carried sets and performers in and out of the stadium. The system is capable of lifting 137 tons, about the weight of a Boeing 747 aircraft. Here, scenes from some of the seven islands that represent the diversity of Russia float past during the Opening Ceremony.
Olympic Rings Fail
5 – Olympic rings, despite a glitch early in Friday’s ceremony, when one of the rings did not appear. Five giant illuminated snowflakes suspended over the the stadium were supposed to open into rings and then light up with pyrotechnics. Only four opened and the fireworks were scrapped.
Heads of State
40 – Heads of state expected to attend the Opening Ceremony with Russian President Vladimir Putin (left), with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (right) and IOC President Thomas Bach (center). The United States’ official delegation does not include a sitting member of President Obama’s administration. Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, White House aide Rob Nabors, tennis great Billie Jean King and figure skater Brian Boitano were named to the delegation for the Opening Ceremony. King pulled out because of the failing health of her mother.
The Greek Delegation
7 – The number of athletes in the Greece delegation to the Sochi games. Greece, considered the birthplace of the Olympics, traditionally marches first in the Parade of Nations. Cross country skier Panagiota Tsakiri carries her country's flag.
6 – Olympics for American flag bearer Todd Lodwick. Team USA appeared earlier than usual, because nations were introduced based on Russian alphabet. The U.S. is represented by 230 athletes at the Games.