SOCHI, Russia -- When one of the five Olympic rings failed to open in a scene at the Sochi Games opening ceremony on Feb. 7, an anxious Russian television executive rushed to use rehearsal footage to conceal the glitch. Three weeks later the Russian producer was relaxed enough to joke about it.
Konstantin Ernst, chief creative director of the opening and closing ceremonies in Sochi, was met with applause and laughter when he took off his jumper at the Sunday press conference, revealing a white-T-shirt with the four Olympic rings - and a snowflake which failed to turn into the fifth ring.
The opening ceremony at the Winter Games on Feb. 7 hit a bump when only four of the five rings materialized in a wintry opening scene. The five were supposed to join together and erupt in fireworks. But one snowflake never expanded. Russian host broadcaster, Rossiya 1, however, cut away to rehearsal footage where all five rings came together.
Ernst and the IOC officials later admitted the use of rehearsal footage and defended the move, saying the most important thing was to preserve an Olympic tradition.
Asked by reporters whether the organizers are going to feature the rings glitch at the closing ceremony on Sunday, Ernst replied:
''I'm not going to tell you!''