In all my years of watching the Olympic Games to a religious, compulsive degree, the Opening Ceremonies have yet to fail in bring a tear (or 20!) to my eye. As a onetime competitive athlete myself, I empathize with the overwhelming emotion of—prepare for a truly horrible metaphor here—climbing the mountaintop and finally arriving at the summit, which, of course, happens to be the Olympics.
Obviously, I tuned in to the Opening Ceremony for Sochi’s 2014 Winter Games, and haven’t been disappointed by the extravagant performances which, true to Opening Ceremony custom, take us on a journey through the host country’s history. In Russia’s case, this included a Russian Police Choir’s performance of "Get Lucky," a full-scale carnival and 213-foot long display of three animatronic horses. Also, a plethora of shots of Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin.
Clearly, we took this display as an opportunity to analyze each country’s uniforms—and we had a little fun with it. We caught these 16 countries during the broadcast and awarded each uniform a Gold Medal for a respective creative category. Click through the slideshow above to see it all. Let the games begin!