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Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony 2014: When and where to watch the big event

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The Winter Olympics XXII Opening Ceremony 2014 will be held at the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia, on Friday morning (Feb. 7), though Americans will have to wait until hours later to experience it.

(We're sure you can dig up a feed somewhere online, but the NBC live stream feed that will provide live event coverage during the Winter Games will not give viewers access to the ceremony, as the network feels it would ruin the viewing experience. Instead, they want viewers to watch on NBC Friday evening. Click the above link to determine the Olympics TV schedule in your area.)

Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony 2014: When to Watch, What to Expect

Though competition began on Thursday (Feb. 6), the four-hour ceremony will officially open what is being called the costliest Olympics in history and will include the traditional Parade of Nations. Over a thousand people are reportedly involved in the spectacle, which will include performances on at least three stages and will likely be capped off by fireworks. There will be a large focus on Russian culture to honor the host country and educate viewers around the world about the nation. often hidden behind the Iron Curtain.

An interesting note on the Parade of Nations; since 1936, the flag bearer for the United States has refused to dip the American flag to the host country's flag. You can find a brief history of that here, but it has us wondering: what chance, if any, is there that this year's flag bearer will break the long-standing tradition and dip the American flag to the Russian flag in Sochi on Friday?

Fast facts about the Sochi Olympics 2014:

- Just under 3,000 athletes will compete in the Sochi Winter Olympics
- Those athletes will compete for 98 medals.
- There will be 16 days of competition.
- The Sochi Olympics 2014 will be the most expensive games in history, with a price tag of $50 billion.

Olympics TV Schedule; Plus, American Celebrity Attendance Down for Winter Games

Despite all the excitement and expense, with the exception of journalists and the Team USA athletes (there are 230 of them, by the way), it doesn't seem like many Americans are anxious to attend the events in person.

While everyone from Bill Gates to rapper Ludacris and even First Lady Michelle Obama attended the London Summer Olympics in 2012, celebrities and foreign fans in general aren't exactly flocking to Russia this year. Whether it's due to security concerns, the cold weather or the rumors of dangerous brown water, it doesn't appear the most expensive event in recent memory will be a sell-out with the American set.

Former figure skaters and American Olympians Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir will be in Russia to provide coverage for NBC, however. Weir, who supports gay rights worldwide but is against any boycott of the Winter Games, said in advance of his trip, "While the law is a terrible thing that you can’t be gay publicly in Russia, I plan to be there in full support of our brothers and sisters there and not be afraid,” Weir said. “If I get arrested, I get arrested. If not, not, great, but our presence is needed. For all the Olympians that worked so hard, a boycott is the worst thing you can do to these young people.”

Will you be tuning in for the NBC broadcast of the Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony 2014 on Feb. 7, or will you boycott by not watching any part of the Winter Games? Leave us a comment below!

Click here to get the Olympics TV schedule for your provider and area.

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