Sochi Winter Olympics beginhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/sports-gallery/sochi-winter-olympics-begin/

Sochi Winter Olympics begin

Fireworks explode over Fisht Olympic Stadium.

A Russia in search of global vindication kicked off the Sochi Olympics looking more like a Russia that likes to party, with a pulse-raising opening ceremony about fun and sports instead of terrorism, gay rights and coddling despots.
Fireworks explode over Fisht Olympic Stadium at the end of the opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Friday. (AP)

With the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to ethical and administrative reasons, luger Shiva Keshavan, Alpine skier Himanshu Thakur and cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal will have to walk behind the IOC flag. Shiva Kesavan, an Independent Olympic Participant, third from left, arrives during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

The Indian athletes will compete under the "independent athletes" category and will be represented under the Olympic flag.
Independent participants enter the arena during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. (Reuters)

Russia's Tennis player, Maria Sharapova carries the torch during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Friday. (AP)

The world's premier athletes on ice and snow have more to worry about than geopolitics as they plunge into the biggest challenges of their lives on the mountain slopes of the Caucasus and in the wet-paint-fresh arenas on the shores of the Black Sea.
Fireworks explode behind the Olympic torch after it was lit at the end of the opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

A raucous group of Russian athletes had a message for their nearly 3,000 rivals in Sochi, marching through Fisht Stadium singing that they're “not gonna get us!”
Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Park during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

The Olympic flame is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Irina Rodnina and Vladislav Tretiak light the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. (AP)

The Olympic flame is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Actors perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Artists put up their performances during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Members from the Chinese team cheer during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Artists put up their performances during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. (AP)

The Olympic flame is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. (AP)

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. (AP)

One of the Olympic rings fails to open at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

The United States team makes an entrance during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Superlatives abounded and the mood soared as Tchaikovsky met pseudo-lesbian pop duo Tatu and their hit, "Not Gonna Get Us" Russian TV presenter Yana Churikova shouted: ``Welcome to the center of the universe!''
Fireworks explode after the live broadcast of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia. (AP)

Fireworks explode over Fisht Olympic Stadium at the end of the opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Alina Kabaeva holds the torch flanked by Maria Sharapova, right, and Alexandr Karelin during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. (AP)