SOCHI, Russia — State-run Russian television has admitted it used recorded footage in place of live coverage of a glitch in the Games opening ceremony.
Russian TV viewers were left unaware one of the five rings did not open properly in a scene at the beginning of Friday's ceremony.
Instead host broadcaster Russia 1 used recorded footage showing the rings opening properly.
The ceremony's creative director, Konstantin Ernst, said no attempt had been to hide the fact that a giant snowflake had not turned into a ring as planned.
He insisted the minor error did not spoil the show watched by an estimated global television audience of 3 billion.
"One cannot possibly think that simply the idea that one snowflake hasn't turned into a ring would stop you watching the ceremony," he said.
"It would be ridiculous to focus on this snowflake. People are here to watch the show, not one snowflake turning into a ring."
Ernst said there was a live world broadcasting feed of the ceremony from the Olympic Broadcasting Service.
"When we realised, just several seconds in advance, that the ring would not pop up and we told the mobile van that broadcasts to the Russian channel, they used the footage that we recorded before (of the rings opening properly).
"This is an open secret. We did not try to hide this fact."
The ceremony, which was a journey through Russian history, was designed "to show Russia from a different perspective." As a result of Soviet rule, Russia "is not treated appropriately by the rest of the world," he said.
"Most people did not expect such a sophisticated show from us and I do not want to boast or praise us, but this is a really groundbreaking opening ceremony," he said.