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Friday, 7 February 2014

Winter Olympics: All eyes on Russia as opening ceremony marks start of Winter Olympics in Sochi.



Russia kicks off the opening ceremony Friday in Sochi as the world turns its attention to the costliest Olympic Games in history.
Spectators from all over the world will watch the lavish event and introduction of athletes, marking the official start of the Winter Olympics.
Light shows and music, lots of it, will fill the air.
"Most of the ceremony focuses heavily on Russian classical music," said Konstantin Ernst, the main creative producer of the ceremony.
"Unfortunately, unlike London, we cannot boast a plethora of famous world-known pop performers. This is why we are now focusing on what Russia is best known for musically around the world; namely, classical music."
Despite anxiety about terror strikes, controversy over gay rights and ridicule for poor preparations, the nation's officials have maintained that the sites in Sochi are secure.
It will be "the safest place on Earth during the Olympics," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of the Games.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who pushed the International Olympic Committee to hold the Games in the nation, will attend the ceremony.
"The head of state is expected to declare the Games open during the ceremony," Ernst said. "It is a requirement. And naturally, Mr. Putin will be doing just that."
The ceremony, the only event scheduled for the day, will last about two and a half hours.
"We believe this is going to be a respectable format. It will be very comfortable for the spectators," he said.
About 40,000 people will be watching from the stands at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.
Russian classical music star Anna Netrebko will perform the Olympic anthem, Ernst said.
A day before, high excitement marked qualification events in the men's and women's slopestyle, women's moguls and team figure skating.
SECURITY
Russia has drafted 37,000 police and security officers to handle security in Sochi, but that has not done much to assuage fears.
Toothpaste terror: A day after the United States warned of how explosive materials could be concealed in toothpaste or cosmetic tubes, its government Thursday temporarily banned all liquids, gels, aerosols and powders in carry-on luggage on flights between the United States and Russia.

Source: BBC.

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