Sochi Winter Olympics kicks offhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/sports-gallery/sochi-winter-olympics-kicks-off/

Sochi Winter Olympics kicks off

It's designed to celebrate a millennium of Russian might and this country's modern rebound, and kick off two weeks of extraordinary human endeavors and planetary sportsmanship.

It's designed to celebrate a millennium of Russian might and this country's modern rebound, and kick off two weeks of extraordinary human endeavors and planetary sportsmanship. But the ceremony opening the Sochi Olympics on Friday, more than anything, will be about one man: Vladimir Putin.
Fireworks are shot over the Bolshoy Ice Dome at the conclusion of a rehearsal for the opening ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Fireworks are shot over Fisht Olympic Stadium, right, and Adler Arena, left, at the conclusion of a rehearsal for the opening ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

Spectators walk past Adler Arena, home of the long track speed skating competitions, on their way to the rehearsal of the opening ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

Fireworks are seen as spectators arrive for the rehearsal of the opening ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

A pair of inline skaters who will perform at the opening ceremony get some exercise at Olympic Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

The United Nations flag flies between Olympic flags and the flags of nations participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Athletes Village in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

A guard stands at attention in front of the Olympic flag and flags of the United Nations and countries participating in the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

Olympic torch bearer Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu holds an Olympic torch during the torch relay in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Security personnel watch a practice run of a fountain show to music from 'Swan Lake' on the perimeter of the Olympic cauldron in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

Spectators photograph water fountains at Olympic Park during final preparations before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Russian women pose for snapshots next to Olympic rings in Sochi, Russia. The opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held on February 7, and the competition will run until February 23. (AP)

Andreevna Mariya Smorodskaya, a make-up artist for the opening ceremonies, takes a photo of the Olympic rings against the Bolshoy Ice Dome during a roof light display of moving flames, at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

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Russian dancers who will be performing at the opening ceremony pose with the Olympic rings as their friend photographs them, ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

The sun sets over Olympic Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

Spectators arrive for the rehearsal of the opening ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium. (AP)

Spectators arrive for the rehearsal of the opening ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)

A woman poses for pictures with the mascots of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP)

Olympic torch bearers Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, hold their Olympic torches during the torch relay in Sochi, Russia. (AP)

Spectators walk by the Bolshoy Ice Dome at left and the Olympic cauldron on their way to the rehearsal of the opening ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (AP)