19 Stunning Photos From the Opening Ceremony

#Sochi2014

Get a first look at the Olympics opening ceremony from Sochi, Russia.

Feb 7, 2014 | 03:51 PM

The XXII Olympic Winter Games kicked off on Friday morning with a stunning opening ceremony that drew a crowd of over 40,000 spectators to the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. 

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, officially inaugurated the games by welcoming athletes and fans from all over the world. "Welcome to the 22nd Winter Olympic Games," he said. Russian TV star Yana Churikova also took part of the opening ceremony by shouting, "Welcome to the center of the universe!" to the crowd. 

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Games will run through February 23, during which 3,000 athletes will compete in 98 events.

Scroll down to see pictures of the ceremony's highlights, and don't forget to tune in to the telecast at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.  

You might also like

Now on People