Everyone’s buzzing about the super-expensive Sochi opening ceremony and all the splendor it promises. But in addition to the dazzling fireworks and symbolic passing of the torch, it’s also possible there will be some serious WTF?! moments.
In anticipation of the big event, here are some of the oddest moments in the history of the ceremony, from the utterly wonderful (Aussies in fedoras) to the very troubling (dead doves, Hitler):
1. Giant baby creeps the world out, London 2012
The London opening ceremony was filled with weird moments (Mary Poppins battling Voldemort? The Queen skydiving?) But because there’s nothing creepier than a giant baby, the reveal of this enormous sleeping infant creature (shiver) endures as the strangest moment of all.
2. Aussie athletes act adorable in safari outfits, Barcelona 1992
Track suits are for suckers! For the ’92 games, the Aussie athlete delegation paid homage to their culture by donning cargo shorts, fedoras and the classic shoes-with-white-socks look. Did we mention we love Australia?
3. China tells child she’s not cute enough to sing, Beijing 2008
Beijing’s crazy-amazing opening ceremony wasn’t without controversy: After the event ended, it was revealed that an adorable 9-year-old girl who sang “Ode to the Motherland” had actually been overdubbed with the voice of a less-adorable 7-year-old. That’s way harsh, China.
4. Doves get torched by a cauldron, Seoul 1988
When doves were released into the air as a gesture of peace, they were promptly burned by the cauldron holding the Olympic torch. And so it was that doves were never released during the opening ceremony again.
5. Hitler runs the show, Berlin 1936
As the height of his power, Hitler hosted the Olympic games and its opening ceremony. Many athletes gave him the salute as they marched by, the Hindenberg flew overhead, and a German band played the national anthem more than 400 times during the most disturbing opening ceremony in history.
Photo of also-creepy John Lennon statue during the London 2012 closing ceremony: commons.wikimedia.org