- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
SOCHI SCENE: Rings over Russia
SOCHI, Russia (AP) - The grandeur of Olympic Park is obvious in its celebration of the Winter Olympics - from the circle of flags surrounding Medals Plaza near the Olympic flame to the iconic rings everywhere, including the facade of Bolshoy Ice Dome and the button of each curling house.
Less apparent beyond signs and individual conversations in the host tongue is the environment of Russia, which, in contrast, is presented more subtly around the park.
Even central stage performances by “the best music and dance groups from the whole of Russia,” as organizer bill it, aren’t blared over loudspeakers to the rest of the park. Instead, it’s a Western pop-heavy rotation of songs like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.”
But visitors sporting gear representing Russia and other countries are naturally crowding around attractions that are more Russian, including a dance crew breaking to Russian beats and a song and dance troupe singing folk songs in traditional outfits.
As a troupe performed Tuesday in front of a casual crowd, two Asian journalists smiled while shooting video. Nearby, a Russian mother ran after her daughter, who carried a green balloon while making a beeline for the stage. Others took frequent photos with phones and tablets.
It’s enriching, yet informal - and the culmination of a process organizers say took four years and involved all 83 regions of Russia, narrowing down to the country’s top professional acts and 50 more finalists picked by a jury to perform.
The result? About 5,000 performers during the Olympics and Paralympics. The vast majority are professionals who have performed in Russia and abroad, says Anna Pisarskaya, head of culture for the Sochi organizers.
- By Oskar Garcia - Twitter http://twitter.com/oskargarcia
Associated Press reporters are filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: http://apne.ws/1c3WMiu
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- 'Deport Bieber' petition draws no comment from White House
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.