Sochi's #FlawlessOlympics were supposed to begin with five snowflake rings opening and exploding in fireworks. Well, the display got 80 percent of the way there.
But people in Russia never saw the goof. Here is how it looked in real life vs. TV.
This is what went wrong, according to the AP:
Everything worked fine for viewers of the Rossiya 1, the Russian host broadcaster.
As the fifth ring got stuck, Rossiya cut away to rehearsal footage. All five rings came together, and the fireworks exploded on cue.
"It didn't show on television, thank God," Jean Claude-Killy, the French ski great who heads the IOC coordination commission for the Sochi Games, told The Associated Press.
Producers confirmed the switch, saying it was important to preserve the imagery of the Olympic symbols.
Konstantin Ernst, executive creative director of the opening ceremony, told reporters it was an "open secret" that the the footage had been replaced.
Even more important, here is a photo from AP (via The Telegraph) that appears to show Russian President Vladamir Putin watching the fixed broadcast.
Regarding the defective snowflake, we fear the worst.
Nooooo spare the snowflake, it knows not what it did! RT @nzaccardi: What went right. What went wrong. ... pic.twitter.com/1A5iZsoM6v— Caitlin Kelly (@atotalmonet) February 7, 2014
Now please picture, as David Roth put it, Putin in a room staring at the snowflake until it melts.