Grand Olympic Opening as Russian Stars Light Olympic Fire
A nearly 3-hour ceremony, watched by over 3 B people worldwide, marked the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
The ceremony began with a presentation of the Cyrillic alphabet, created by the Byzantine brothers St. Cyril and Methodius.
Five of Russia’s most renowned astronauts raised the country’s flag during the singing of the national anthem.
The ceremony proceeded with the entrance of the 88 national delegations, accompanied by a satellite night view of each country. Traditionally, Greece, the birth nation of the Olympics, entered first.
A number of performances, including a classical ballet depiction of a Peterburg ball marked the artistic part of the program. It was performed by a troop from the Mariinsky Ballet.
The Olympic flag was carried into the stadium by 8 prominent Russian personalities, including the first woman to travel into space, Valentina Tereshkova.
Soprano Anna Netrebko performed the Olympic hymn.
Tennis star and girlfriend of Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, Maria Sharapova brought the Olympic torch into the stadium. Pole vaulter Yelena Isimbayeva and former rhythmic gymnast Alina Kabaeva also carried the fire in the relay.
The fire, which will burn outside of the Fisht Stadium was lit by former Olympic medalists Irina Rodnina and ice hockey goalkeeper Vladislav Tretiak.