SOCHI, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The ceremonies producer Konstantin Ernst hoped that the upcoming opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games Friday night would carry the name of the country in an artistic and metaphorical way.
"When our bid won the tender and we assumed responsibility for the opening ceremony of the Games, we certainly felt painfully the burden of this responsibility. We realized that the opening ceremony carries the name of the country," Ernst told the press on Friday.
"You know how people say that the best way to try to understand something is to try to explain it to others, so when we prepared the ceremony we made a mental journey back into the history of Russia, bearing in mind that we would be working for billions of viewers across the globe and we want them to experience this love of Russia; we want to carry a very strong emotional message for this unprecedented international audience," said Ernst, also the director general of Channel One Russia.
Ernst noted one of the best parts of the London Olympics opening ceremony was the video about Queen Elizabeth appearing to jump out of an aeroplane and he ensured that the ceremonies team in Sochi would also give the audience a surprise.
"I hope that we will have a surprise for you but we are not going to feature any topics that will be only interesting for Russians. We are not going to burden our foreign spectators with that."
As Russia has a very long and vivid history, Ernst chose the most distinguished Russian cultural elements to be shown in the opening ceremony.
"We wanted to show the main achievements of Russia. We may not boast pop bands that would be famous all over the world, but definitely we have something to boast in classical music, in arts, in painting, etc."
"I'm sure you will hear a lot of beautiful music; you will see a small, perfect ballet show. It will be performed by the best ballet dancers of Russia."
Chinese president, UN chief vow to promote world peace, development
SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon here, ahead of the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games.
Noting that the cauldron of the Sochi Winter Olympics will be lit up on Friday night, Xi said the Olympic ideal of peace is highly consistent with the UN's principle of promoting peace for mankind. Full story
Sochi "fully ready", says organizer
SOCHI, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Sochi is ready to deliver the 22nd Winter Olympic Games after a seven-year preparation to give the city a makeover, said Sochi Games organizers on the second day of the 126th International Olympic Committee session Thursday.
On the eve of the opening ceremony, the Sochi Olympics organizing committee president and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko promised a fabulous Games in the Black Sea city. Full story
Chinese officials give thumbs up to Sochi organization
SOCHI, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Athletes will enjoy their life in the "comfortable" athletes' village of Sochi Winter Olympic Games that "offers convenience in every aspect", a Chinese sports official said on Wednesday.
Deputy chef de mission of the Chinese delegation Xiao Tian, just hours off his flight from Beijing, said he already felt at home. Full story
Sochi Winter Olympics to reach 1.5 billion TV viewers
SOCHI, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS) will provide more than 1,300 hours of live coverage from Sochi 2014 for an expected worldwide television audience of 1.5 billion.
The OBS output will be made available to rights-holding broadcasters from more than 200 countries and regions across the globe. Full story