Russia celebrated the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games on Friday evening in southwest Sochi city.
Under the watchful eye of the world with the event televised across the globe, the Fisht Olympic Stadium welcomed international athletes to rapturous applause and cheers.
Across the city, local residents gathered among city squares in build up to the opening ceremony, which swiftly began at exactly 20:14 in homage to the year of 2014.
President Vladimir Putin in leading the celebrations, announced the opening of the Games at the precise time, flanked by international leaders.
At one of the squares in downtown Sochi, spectators amassed in numbers to ceremony on large electronic screens whilst waving the Russian national flags, displaying patriotism and proudness, according to reports.
“I like it 1/8the opening ceremony3/8 very much. All the performances (so far) have been very wonderful,” said a male spectator, watching the show unravel on screen, “It’s great!”
“I hope athletes from the all of the participating countries can bring back medals to their respective home (nation). I wish them all the best,” said a female resident.
The public’s celebration meanwhile, reached fever pitch when the Russian delegation entered the stadium on a climax of moments to take its place on the competitors’ stage.
The opening ceremony elsewhere, displayed Russia’s splendid culture and landscapes to the world, reports said as Russia gave the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron to two former champions, hockey legend Vladislav Tretiak and figure skater Irina Rodnina.
Despite all of the lavish celebrations, a technical hitch made an unexpected greeting when one of the five rings that make up the Games’ symbol failed to open, where it could not be illuminated by fireworks.
However, the show went on as usual as the ceremony had an overawe of a presence on spectators and viewer alike, according to reports.
The organizing committee of the Games later admitted that proceedings did encounter a technical issue.
Meanwhile, there was good news for all Russian citizens as the federal government recently announced a public holiday period from February 7 to February 23 in celebration of the Winter Olympic Games.