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.

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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. 

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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.

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The Olympic Cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony.