Secrets from Sochi’s Opening Ceremony


The 2014 Sochi Olympics are still more than 15 months away, but apparently it’s never too early for details of the Opening Ceremony to start leaking out.

Anonymous members of Sochi’s organizing committee have revealed an early outline of the festivities that will highlight Russian history and culture, comprising an event that will seek to keep pace with the awe-inspiring extravaganza from Beijing, but may more closely resemble the wacky-but-loveable spectacle that kicked off London 2012.

“Welcome to Sochi” will begin with teams of performers acting out scenes from Gogol’s “Dead Souls” as well as various Russian fairy tales. That will be followed by segments featuring geographic marvels like Lake Baikal and the Ural Mountains, a fleet of ships sailed by Peter the Great, and a dramatic recreation of Russia’s industrial revolution (a la Danny Boyle’s London ceremony).

And, of course, there will be the parade of athletes at some point during the ceremony and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron as the event draws to a close.

Basically, it sounds like we’re in for a hodgepodge of artistic interpretations of all things Russian, some of which the wider world already knows about, some of which will require some Googling as the scene unfolds.

The ceremony won’t take place until Feb. 7, 2014, so it’s entirely possible that much of what is roughly planned now will change. The real rumor-mongering – not to mention the limitless variety of wagers that can be made – surrounding the Opening Ceremony will heat up in the weeks immediately preceding the Games.

Wimbledon reverses ban on Russia, Belarus tennis players

Wimbledon Russia

Russian and Belarusian players will be able to compete at Wimbledon as neutral athletes after the All England Club on Friday reversed its ban from last year.

The players must comply with “appropriate conditions,” including not expressing support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

They also must not receive funding “from the Russian and/or Belarusian states (including sponsorship from companies operated or controlled by the states) in relation to their participation in The Championships,” the All England Club said in a statement.

Other tennis tournaments have allowed Russian and Belarusian players to compete as neutral athletes.

“We also consider alignment between the Grand Slams to be increasingly important in the current tennis environment,” the club said. “There was a strong and very disappointing reaction from some governing bodies in tennis to the position taken by the All England Club and the LTA last year with consequences which, if continued, would be damaging to the interests of players, fans, The Championships and British tennis.”

This year’s Wimbledon tournament will start on July 3. The women’s final is scheduled for July 15 and the men’s final on July 16.

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2023 World Junior Gymnastics Championships live stream schedule

World Junior Gymnastics Championships

The world junior gymnastics championships individual finals stream live on the International Gymnastics Federation YouTube channel from Friday through Sunday.

Already this week, Japan swept the men’s and women’s team titles in Antalya, Turkey. The U.S. women took silver.

The U.S. women in Friday’s all-around final are Izzy Stassi (qualified fourth) and Jayla Hang (qualified 22nd). The U.S. men in Friday’s all-around final are Kai Uemura (qualified 11th) and David Shamah (qualified 14th).

Americans also advanced to four of this weekend’s apparatus finals: women’s vault (Stassi, Hang), uneven bars (Hezly Rivera) and floor exercise (Rivera, Hang) and men’s still rings (Uemura).

Gymnastics added a biennial junior worlds starting in 2019. The 2021 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Women ages 14 or 15 and men ages 15 through 18 compete.

The U.S. team in 2019 included future senior world team members Skye Blakely, Kayla DiCello and Konnor McClain.

2023 World Junior Gymnastics Championships Live Stream Schedule

Day Competition Time (ET) Platform
Friday Men’s All-Around 7:30 a.m. FIG YouTube | LIVE STREAM LINK
Women’s All-Around 12 p.m. FIG YouTube | LIVE STREAM LINK
Saturday Apparatus Finals 7 a.m. FIG YouTube | LIVE STREAM LINK
Sunday Apparatus Finals 7 a.m. FIG YouTube | LIVE STREAM LINK

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