Putin inaugurates 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
The XXII Winter Olympic Games are on after opening officially in a sparkling, star-studded show in Sochi. For the next 16 days the world’s top athletes will be going for it, competing hard with every sinew and fiber.
This is the first time Russia has hosted the Winter Olympics and the breathtaking opening ceremony did full justice to the importance of the event.
The show opened with a video, introducing foreign guests to the Russian alphabet and scenes of culture and history matched with letters, one of each stood for a particular person, notion or invention, portraying famous moments throughout the country’s history.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach took the stage to call on the athletes to compete in a spirit of fair rivalry. He then handed the microphone to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who declared the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games open.
Piano virtuoso, Denis Matsuev, and opera soprano, Anna Netrebko, gave a rousing performance of the Olympic anthem.
Athletes will compete in over 15 disciplines in seven sports. 12 new events have been shoe-horned into the crowded Olympic schedule, including the figure skating team event, slopestyle and half-pipe skiing (both men’s and women’s).
Over the next 16 days a record number of Olympic medals will be presented – a total of 98 sets, that is 12 more than in Vancouver 2010. Each gold medal weights 531g, while silvers are 525g and the bronzes are 460g.
Ten Sochi Olympics winners will get an out-of-this-world touch when they receive their gold medals on February 15. Each medal will be embedded with tiny fragments of last year’s Chelyabinsk meteorite.