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Rediff.com  » Sports » Putin declares Sochi Winter Games open

Putin declares Sochi Winter Games open

February 08, 2014 00:02 IST

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the Sochi Winter Games officially open on Friday at a high-octane opening ceremony before 40,000 spectators at the gleaming new Fisht Stadium.

Putin and leaders from China, Japan and about 40 other countries clapped as athletes emerged from beneath the stage up a ramp for the traditional parade, and a giant satellite image of each nation taken from space was projected onto the floor.

The ceremony got off to a shaky start when one of the five Olympic rings failed to open, meaning the symbol could not be illuminated with fireworks as planned.

Image: Vladimir Putin

Photograph: David Goldman - Pool/Getty Images