The event's producer Konstantin Ernst explained that the singers were chosen because their 2003 hit "Not Gonna Get Us" is one of the few Russian pop songs that is an international hit. He added that the message of the song would hopefully motivate athletes.
Booking t.A.T.u. is a provocative choice for Sochi (not only because they haven't been relevant in a decade), but because of the controversy surrounding Russia's anti-gay laws banning "gay propaganda."
The group, made up of Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova, rose to fame posing as a lesbian couple, notoriously sharing a steamy kiss at the 2003 Video Music Awards. Their second hit single "All The Things She Said" featured blatant queer themes, which would likely be in violation of Russia's anti-gay laws.
According to The Wall Street Journal, t.A.T.u. will perform as the Russian team enters the stadium, but their performance will not be broadcast internationally.
The rest of the ceremony will reportedly focus on a history of Russia, from ancient times through now.
The Sochi opening ceremony will air Friday at 7:30/6:30c on NBC.