Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony (PHOTOS)

With gleaming fireworks, excessive Russian history, and a slightly defective snowflake the 2014 Olympic Games kicked off in style at Sochi.


Fireworks explode over the Fisht Olympic Stadium at the begining of the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

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A general view of the elaborate set. 

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Performers wear the colors of the Russian flag. 

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Snowflakes hover above performers during the "Voices of Russia" sequence. 

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Flag-bearer Todd Lodwick of the United States leads the American athletes at the opening ceremony.

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Hayley Wickenheiser leads the Canadian competitors.  

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The German Olympic team enters the stadium in brightly colored uniforms. 

Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

A map of the United Kingdom is projected onto the stadium floor as the British team marches into the stadium.

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach of Germany and Russian President Vladimir Putin watch the opening ceremony.


Yulia Volkova and Lena Katina of t.A.T.u. perform.

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Dancers perform during the opening ceremony.

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Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova holds the Olympic flame.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

The Olympic Cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony.