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2014 Olympics photos: Todd Lodwick leads Team USA at Sochi Opening Ceremony

The United States Olympic team enters the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
The United States Olympic team enters the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Nothing can unite people from around the world like the Olympics. On Feb. 6, citizens from all corners of the globe gathered to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games. The power of television united people from all nations, if just for one evening and one magical moment in time. For Americans, the entrance of Team USA, led by skier Todd Lodwick, was one of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony. The American delegation at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi includes a total of 230 athletes, all hoping to score gold and make memories that will last a lifetime.

The United States Olympic team, led by flag holder and skier Todd Lodwick, enters the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

The flag bearer for Team USA was Todd Lodwick, who is considered the old man of the delegation. The 37-year-old will compete in Sochi, which marks his sixth Winter Olympics. According to “The Washington Post," Lodwick, a Nordic skier, suffered a major shoulder injury in December. However, it couldn’t keep him away from leading his team into Fisht Olympic Stadium on Friday.

The opening ceremony kicked off with an alphabet video to teach the world about Russia and its rich history. This was followed by a dream sequence featuring a flying fifth grader and the singing of the national anthem. The parade of athletes was next and included 2,800 athletes from 88 countries, an all-time record number for any Winter Olympics. After the competitors entered and took their seats, a parade of colorful inflatable balloons followed. As posted by ESPN, “It looked like a Russian version of Disney On Ice.” The well orchestrated and dazzling opening ceremony also included ballet and plenty of classical music, plus tributes to Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy. The popular group, Tatu, performed “Not Gonna Get Us,” an upbeat dance song that was chosen to inspire athletes.

Of course, the Olympic oath and the raising of the flag were key moments during the Sochi opening ceremony. Tennis star and Sochi native, Maria Sharapova ran the torch into the stadium. She passed it to Russian hockey legend, Vladislav, and figure skater, Irina Rodnina, who used the torch to light the cauldron, which will burn continuously until the closing ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 23.

Despite one minor glitch, the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics went off quite well – complete with a lavish fireworks display that lit up the night sky over Sochi. As posted by the “Boston Globe” on Friday, “Russian pride was on display.” Only time will tell if the nation can pull off a safe and untarnished Winter Olympics.

NBC has a full day planned today to cover the 2014 Olympics. Here is the TV schedule for Saturday, Feb. 8.

  • 8 a.m. EST: Hockey – Canada vs. Switzerland – MSNBC
  • 9:30 a.m. EST: Figure Skating – Team, Short Dance – NBC Sports Network
  • 11 a.m. EST: Figure Skating – Team, Ladies’ Short Program and Pairs’ Free Skate - NBC Network
  • 2:30 p.m. EST: Ski Jumping (Men's Normal Hill), Biathlon (Men's 10km Sprint), Speed Skating (Men's 5000m), Cross-Country (Women's Skiathlon) – NBC
  • 6 p.m. EST: Hockey – NBC Sports Network
  • 8 p.m. EST: Snowboarding (Men's Slopestyle), Freestyle Skiing (Women's Moguls), Figure Skating (Team Event)

If you’re away from home, be sure to check out this article about a go-anywhere app to catch all the action from the 2014 Winter Olympics.

To view the entire TV schedule for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on NBC, NBC Sports, USA, MSNBC, and CNBC, simply click on this NBC Olympics link and then choose the date/time.

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