Olympics: Russian press gush with pride over 'fairy tale' ceremony
Russia's press on Saturday gushed with pride over a "fairy tale" Olympic opening ceremony in Sochi, saying it restored pride to the former superpower that had been lacking for too long.
Aside from an early glitch when a giant snowflake failed to morph into one of the Olympic rings, Friday's ceremony thrilled with its feast of music and dance -- taking viewers on a breathless ride through Russian history.
"A ceremony of pride for Russia," read the headline in the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily.
"We missed this for so many years... a pride for our country, a feeling for her power, unity and greatness. We missed this feeling, to be great people of a great power. Yesterday, we felt it," it said.
"Ours. Cool. A Fairy Tale," said the Sport Express daily, playing on the official slogan of the Games "Hot. Cool. Yours."
"Many of us feared that the ceremony would turn into a demonstration of might and power. This did not happen. It was humane and not just for export -- it was addressed at Russians as much as foreigners," it said.
The Sovietsky Sport sports daily hailed the event. "Cool. Hot. Ours!" it said in a headline.
"40,000 lucky people (in the stadium) and billions of television viewers saw the grandiose show, the very best in the history of the Games."
"Forwards Sochi!" said the daily Kommersant. "For the country, the Games will be not so much a celebration, as a genuine experience about how to turn huge resources into future successes."
"Yesterday at 2254 (1854 GMT when the Olympic cauldron was lit) the moment came when Russia was finally at the centre of the world's attention.
"A moment of some kind of truth for Russia."
Pro-opposition business daily Vedomosti was one of few media outlets striking a more cynical note.
"The last 20 years of Olympic opening ceremonies have developed into a big industry of mass show blockbusters," it wrote.
"The Sochi ceremony was just another franchise in this series. It did not fail but did not surprise. In half a year hardly anyone will remember it but also no one will be ashamed of it."
© 2014 AFP