Sochi 2014: The Opening Ceremony

It was big. It was bold. And it has got the XXII Olympic Winter Games started. A glittering opening ceremony has been held in Sochi, Russia, with dance, music, fireworks and a journey through Russia’s history to delight the 40,000 people present. Millions more watched on television and via the Internet as the 22nd Winter Games got underway at the state-of-the-art Fisht Stadium. Between now and February 23, the competition for gold, silver and bronze medals will dominate the world’s sporting agenda.
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1. Fireworks explode over the Fisht Olympic Stadium at the beginning of the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.




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2. People line up to enter the stadium before the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, on February 7, 2014.




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3. The sun sets over Sochi's Olympic Park, on February 7, 2014.




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4. Fireworks erupt at the start of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, on Friday, February 7, 2014.




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5. Performers take the field during the Opening Ceremony, on February 7, 2014.




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6. Liza Temnikova, as "Lyubov", is lifted into the air during a performance, holding a long kite, flying above a theatrical Russian landscape, in the Opening Ceremony in Sochi, on February 7, 2014.




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7. Liza Temnikova as Lyubov performs Voices of Russia in Fisht Olympic Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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8. Reindeer stand near gurs as a Russian rural landscape scene floats past during the Opening Ceremony, on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.




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9. One of the five Olympic rings failed to unfold during the Opening Ceremony, on February 7, 2014.




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10. Performers in lighted clothing in Fisht Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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11. Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, left, applaud during the playing of the Russian national anthem, on February 7, 2014.




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12. The Greek Olympic team enters the stadium during the Opening Ceremony, on February 7, 2014.




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13. Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany carries her country flag as the team arrives in Sochi, Russia, on, February 7, 2014.




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14. Todd Lodwick of the United States carries the national flag as he leads team USA into Fisht Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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15. Nordic combined skier Mario Stecher of the Austria Olympic team carries his country's flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, on February 7, 2014.




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16. Members of the Russian team enter the stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, February 7, 2014.




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17. A massive troika, three harnessed horses, during the opening ceremony, on February 7, 2014.




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18. A Russian ship is projected on the floor of Fisht Stadium in Sochi, on February 7, 2014.




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19. Artists perform in Sochi, on February 7, 2014.




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20. Actors perform during the opening ceremony in Sochi, on February 7, 2014.




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21. A look at Russia's Soviet past in Sochi, on February 7, 2014.




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22. Performers in the opening ceremony in Sochi, on February 7, 2014.




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23. Liza Temnikova, as Lyubov, releases the red balloon of communism in Fisht Olympic Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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24. Dancers perform in Natasha Rostova's First Ball on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.




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25. Dancers Svetlana Zakharova and Ivan Vasiliev perform during the opening ceremony, on February 7, 2014.




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26. Dancers perform during in Fisht Olympic Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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27. Dancers perform during in Fisht Olympic Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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28. The Sochi Olympics winter games official Hare mascot, in Fisht Olympic Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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29. A performance during the opening ceremony in Sochi, on February 7, 2014.




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30. A performance during the opening ceremony in Sochi, on February 7, 2014.




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31. Olympic athletes are depicted in lights int Fisht Olympic Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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32. Artists perform during the opening ceremony, on February 7, 2014.




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33. Fireworks explode over the Fisht Olympic Stadium, February 7, 2014.




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34. Russian tennis player and Olympic medalist Maria Sharapova carries the Olympic torch into Fisht Olympic Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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35. Fireworks explode over the Fisht Stadium during the Opening Ceremony, on February 7, 2014 in Sochi.




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36. Former hockey player Vladislav Tretiak (right) and figure skater Irina Rodnina light the Olympic cauldron together on February 7, 2014.




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37. Fire races up the Olympic Cauldron, on February 7, 2014.




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38. Fireworks explode over Sochi at the end of the Opening Ceremony, on February 7, 2014.




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39. The Olympic flame, lit during the Opening Ceremony, on February 7, 2014.




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40. Fireworks explode over Fisht Olympic Stadium, on February 7, 2014.




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41. Fireworks explode after the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron, during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 7, 2014.