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Sochi 2014 opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Russia: Photo highlights

On Feb. 7, the Sochi 2014 opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Russia played out on the world stage. According to the official site, the four-hour program was broken down into 18 different categories.

Sochi opening ceremony: The photos
Sochi opening ceremony: The photosMartin Rose/Getty Images
Sochi 2014 opening ceremony
Sochi 2014 opening ceremonyPhoto by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Of course, the fireworks, the arrival of the torch, and the parade of the the athletes were top priorities as was the official welcoming from President Putin, but the other displays of pageantry were what many onlookers talked about.

For instance, in order to create the official Olympic symbol of interlocking rings, snow fell until the flakes took the right shape. One ring didn't blow up the right way but the thought was there and it was beautiful.

On the cute side at the Sochi 2014 opening ceremony, the moscots took over the stage, showing lots of spunk as these furry guys in the form of different animals — including the Hare, the Polar Bear and the Leopard — came into view.

Perhaps most nobel was the story of Russia as played out via scenes from the Russian avant-garde to scenes from the Soviet era and then to present day.

And so, as the Sochi 2014 opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics 2014 was on display in Russia, Americans are enjoying the photo highlights but not the video since that's scheduled for tonight on NBC. All four hours of it. Stay tuned.