Photo Essay

  • Fireworks are seen over the Olympic Park during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 7, 2014.
  • The Russian Interior Ministry choir performs ahead of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 7, 2014.
  • A scene from the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 7, 2014.
  • Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 7, 2014.
  • Snowflakes transform into four Olympic rings with one failing to form during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on Feb. 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach applaud during the playing of the Russian national anthem at the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • A girl flies through the air during the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Performers sing during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.
  • Performers are lit up as the Russian flag during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on Feb. 7, 2014.
  • The Great Britain team is introduced during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.
  • Journalists at work during the opening ceremony in Fisht Olympic Stadium at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.
  • The Greece Olympic team enters the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • The Canada Olympic team enters the stadium during the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • U.S. flag bearer and nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick leads the American delegation during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on Feb. 7, 2014.
  • Performers take part as onion-domes floats rise, at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Feb. 7, 2014.
  • Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on Feb. 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
  • Diana Vishneva performs during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on Feb. 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
  • Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on Feb. 7, 2014.
  • Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova holds the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia, Feb. 7 2014.
  • Fireworks explode behind the Olympic torch after it was lit at end of the opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Feb. 7, 2014.
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Let the games begin: Sochi Olympic opening ceremony

Updated

The Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia provided the backdrop for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games with a flood of lights, floats, and fireworks just after 8 p.m. local time Friday. The host country presented an homage to Russian history and classical music, complete with a military choir, fireworks, and the lighting of the famed Olympic torch.

Around 40,000 spectators watched nearly 3,000 athletes from 88 countries present their nation’s colors. The U.S. sent its largest-ever delegation, with 230 athletes donning colorful knitwear designed by Ralph Lauren in the parade of nations.