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The Absolute Best Pictures From the Olympics Opening Ceremony

Feb 7 2014 - 7:28pm

Let the Games begin! The opening ceremony took place at Sochi's Fisht Olympic Stadium on Friday, marking the official start of the 2014 Olympics. Athletes representing countries across the globe gathered for the big night, and although Sochi's had its problems [1] over the past couple of weeks, this year marked another exciting opening ceremony, with gorgeous fireworks, a series of performances, and just a few minor hiccups. Stunning lights filled the stadium throughout the ceremony, and a giant image of Earth was projected as the athletes arrived, highlighting the teams' countries as they entered. There was a slight snowflake malfunction [2] at the start, and one of the Austrian athletes took a tumble [3] during the Parade of Nations, but between giant mascots, up-in-the-air performances, and plenty of lights, Sochi put on a spectacular event. Take a look at the must-see pictures from the opening ceremony, and be sure to read our full guide of everything you need to know about the Sochi Olympics [4]!

Fireworks rained down from the sky.

The torch was lit at the end of the ceremony.

The cauldron shined bright over the Olympic park.

The ceremony was filled with traditional Russian scenery.

Russian tennis player and Olympic medalist Maria Sharapova ran with the torch.

Dancers were covered in lights.

It made for a magical scene.


The communist past was represented during the spectacle.

Sculptures floated above a street scene during the show.

Dancers performed in the "Time Forward!/Suprematic Ballet" segment.

Fireworks lit up the sky during the opening ceremony.

Lit-up roller skaters performed as Olympic gods.

Snowflakes in the shape of the Olympic rings were all lit up.

One of the snowflakes didn't exactly turn into an Olympic ring [5] as planned.

The Russian flag was presented during the opening ceremony.

The team escorts wore elaborate costumes that looked like something from The Hunger Games [6].

A lit-up moon made for a beautiful backdrop.

The arena was all lit up throughout the opening ceremony.

Performers took center stage during the opening ceremony.

Team USA arrived with the American flag waving.

Athletes from Team USA posed for a picture as they made their entrance.

The German team waved as they made their arrival.

Performers in colorful costumes took center stage during the opening ceremony.

There was an elaborate fireworks show during the opening ceremony.

So. Many. Fireworks.


Dancers performed during the opening ceremony.

A lit-up version of the traditional three-horse Russian troika symbol was suspended in the arena.

Liza Temnikova, 11, portrayed the character of Lubov, who was the centerpiece of the show.

Performers grouped together during the opening ceremony.

The Olympic mascots made an appearance during the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony involved gorgeous lights.

Lights filled the stadium during the Olympic opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony featured Russian-themed performances and imagery.

A red glow filled the stadium during the opening ceremony.

Liza played the heroine throughout the opening ceremony.

Artists performed in the huge arena.

The torch lighting did not disappoint.

The firework show lasted minutes.

Athletes made their arrivals during the Parade of Nations.

Russia pulled out all the stops for the conclusion.

The Olympic torch was lit during the dramatic climax of the opening ceremony.

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