Sochi Olympics' Opening Ceremony Photos Set the Tone for Dramatic Winter Games

And, they're off! The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics jumpstarted Friday with Russia's highly anticipated ceremonies, which, per usual, included the Parade of Nations, live performances, and a dramatic torch lighting. But, for those of us on the other side of the world, what did it look like inside Fisht Olympic Stadium? Click on to see some of the Opening Ceremonies' most notable moments in pictures.

Sochi Lets Its Colors Burst

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With a series of impressive fireworks.

Inflatables

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Inflatables make the shape of St. Basil’s Cathedral, an iconic Russian landmark in Moscow.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs Sing "Get Lucky"

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Without robot masks, this time. (See video here!)

Snow Way!

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A bevy of snowflakes were supposed to transform into the five Olympic rings during the opening ceremony…

Oh, Snow

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…One, however, failed to take shape…

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…which probably didn’t make Putin (seen here with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach) too happy.

Flying High

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A closer look at Temnikova as Lyubov, soaring through the stadium.

Russia Spreads Its Voice

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Thanks to Liza Temnikova, performing the “Voices of Russia,” portraying Russian artist Lyubov.

Tokio Performs

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The Russian band Tokio opened the Olympics Ceremony pre-show.

T.a.t.u. Performs

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A surprising choice for the pre-show to a very anti-gay Winter Games: Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova, otherwise known as t.A.T.u, otherwise known as the band that invited controversy for for their faux homosexual image. Despite the fact that the band is not made up of two lesbian singers, t.A.T.u has always advocated for gay rights.

A Permanent Look at t.A.T.u.

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A closer look at all the things “All the Things She Said” singers t.A.t.u. said during the Opening Ceremonies Pre-Show. (Note the rainbow garb.)

Russian Pride

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Inflatables take the shape of Russia’s famed cathedrals.

Russian Pride

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Athlete Marshals formed the Russian flag during the ceremony.

Russia Sings

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The Moscow Stretensky Monastery Choir performs the country’s national anthem.

The Olympic Flag

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Olympic flag bearers Chulpan Khamatova, Lidiya Skoblikova, Anastasia Popova, Valentina Tereshkova, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Valeriy Gergiev, Alan Enileev and Nikita Mikhalkov carry in the Olympic Flag.

Greece Kicks Off The Parade of Nations

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Led by cross country skier Panagiota Tsakiri.

Australia

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Led by snowboarder Alex Pullin.

Austria

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Led by Nordic combined skier Mario Stecher.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Led by Skier Zana Novakovic.

Great Britain

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Led by Short track speed skater Jon Eley.

Brazil

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Led by cross country skier and biathlete Jaqueline Mourao.

Germany

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Led by skier Maria Hoefl-Riesch.

Bulgaria

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Led by skier Maria Kirkova.

Belarus

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Led by freestyle skier Alexei Grishin.

Canada

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Led by ice hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser.

Italy

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Led by luger Armin Zoeggeler.

Spain

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Led by figure skater Javier Fernandez.

Israel

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Led by short track speed skater Vladislav Bykanov.

Iceland

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Led by cross country skier Saevar Birgisson.

Latvia

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Led by ice hockey player Sandis Ozolins.

Ireland

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Led by ice hockey player Sandis Ozolins.

Norway

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Led by skier Aksel Lund Svindal.

Zimbabwe

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Led by skier Luke Steyn.

Mexico

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Led by skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe.

Poland

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Led by bobsleigh racer Dawid Kupczyk.

Kyrgyzstan

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Led by skier Dmitry Trelevski.

Georgia

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Led by skier Nino Tsiklauri.

China

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Led by figure skater Jian Tong.

South Korea

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Led by speed skater Kyou Hyuk Lee.

Brazil

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Led by cross country skier and biathlete Jaqueline Mourao.

United States

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Led by Nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick.

Slovakia

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Led by ice hockey player Zdeno Chara.

Serbia

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Led by biathlete Milanko Petrovic.

Norway

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Led by skier Aksel Lund Svindal.

Denmark

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Led by curler Lene Nielsen.

Ukraine

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Led by cross country skier Valentina Shevchenko.

Venezuela

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Led by skier Antonio Pardo.

Dominica

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Led by cross country skier Gary di Silvestri.

Slovenia

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Led by ice hockey player Tomaz Razingar.

Virgin Islands

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Led by skier Jasmine Campbell.

San Marino

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Led by skier Vincenzo Romano Michelotti.

Kazakhstan

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Led by cross country skier Yerdos Akhmadiyev.

New Zealand

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Led by speed skater Shane Dobbin.

France

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Led by Nordic combined skier Jason Lamy-Chappuis.

Romania

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Led by biathlete Eva Tofalvi.

Finland

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Led by snowboarder Enni Rukajarvi.

Russia

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Led by bobsleigh racer Alexander Zubkov.

Portugal

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Led by skier Arthur Hanse.

Jamaica

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Led by bobsleigh racer Marvin Dixon.

Sweden

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Led by cross country skier Anders Soedergren.

Macedonia

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Led by cross country skier Darko Damjanovski.

Bermuda

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Led by cross country skier Tucker Murphy.

Albania

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Led by skier Erjon Tola.

Andorra

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Led by skier Mireia Gutierrez.

Azerbaijan

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Led by skier Patrick Brachner.

Iran

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Led by skier Hossein Saveh Shemshaki.

Cayman Islands

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Led by skier Dow Travers.

Armenia

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Led by cross country skier Sergey Mikayelyan.

Morocco

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Led by skier Adam Lamhamedi.

Finland

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Led by snowboarder Enni Rukajarvi.

Romania

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Led by biathlete Eva Tofalvi.

Japan

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Led by curler Ayumi Ogasawara.

Olympic Flag raised

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Anna Netrebko sings as the Olympic Flag is raised in Sochi.

Mongolia

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Led by cross country skier Byambadorj Bold.

Olympic flame

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Olympic torch bearer Alina Kabaeva carries the torch with Maria Sharapova and Elena Isinbaeva.

Sochi Opening Ceremony

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Svetlana Zakharova and Vladimir Vasiliev perform as Natasha Rostova and her father in Natasha Rostova’s First Ball during the Opening Ceremony.

Sochi Opening Ceremony

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Dancers perform during the Olympics Opening Ceremony.

Lithuania

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Led by figure skater Deividas Stagniunas.

Sochi Mascots

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A hare, a bear, and a leopard round up the 2014 Sochi Olympic mascots.

Lebanon

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Led by skier Alexandre Mohbat.

Fire Up!

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The Olympic cauldron should light a fire under the athletes at these Olympic games.