Olympic opening ceremony: Giant animal mascots appear

Feb 7, 12:43 PM

A trio of giant animals entered Fisht Stadium during the Olympic opening ceremony. They weren't intimidating, but they weren't exactly cuddly either.

[Photos courtesy CBC Sports]

The leopard, hare and polar bear are the mascots for the Sochi Games.

Feb 7, 3:33 PM

Olympic opening ceremony: 4 must-see moments

Feb 7, 3:33 PM

Russia welcomed the world on Friday, as the 2014 Olympic Winter Games officially began with the opening ceremony in Sochi.

Here are four must-see moments from the festivities.

The missing ring

It didn't take long for the first major hiccup of the event. Only four of the five Olympic rings formed properly during a routine display about ten minutes into the ceremony.

The history lesson

Russia's rich history was chronicled in a series of theatrical performances that documented the Russian Revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union.

The animal mascots

Three giant animals entered the arena and slid across the stage.

[Courtesy CBC Sports]

Suddenly we're in the mood for Sugar Crisp cereal.

[Courtesy CBC Sports]

The bear, hare and leopard are the official Olympic mascots.

Mystery solved

After months of speculation, we finally found out who would light the Olympic flame.

Former goaltender Vladislav Tretiak and former figure skater Irina Rodnina did the honors.

Tennis star Maria Sharapova, rhythmic gymnastics gold medalist Alina Kabaeva, former Greco-Roman wrestler Alexandr Karelin and pole vaulter Yelena Isinbaeva took part in the final torch relay before handing off to Tretiak and Rodnina.

After the cauldron was lit, a fireworks display capped off the evening.

[Courtesy CBC Sports]

Feb 7, 2:04 PM

Olympic opening ceremony: PHOTOS - Tretiak, Rodnina light cauldron

Feb 7, 2:04 PM

Former goaltender Vladislav Tretiak and former figure skater Irina Rodnina lit the Olympic cauldron, completing the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

[Courtesy CBC Sports]

Tennis star Maria Sharapova and rhythmic gymnastics gold medalist Alina Kabaeva took part in the final torch relay, along with former Greco-Roman wrestler Alexandr Karelin and pole vaulter Yelena Isinbaeva.

Feb 7, 1:22 PM

Olympic opening ceremony: PHOTOS - Take a trip through Russia's past

Feb 7, 1:22 PM

The second half of the opening ceremony involved a look at Russia's history.

Of course, it is no surprise the host country decided to showcase their ballet skills with a performance from Tolstoy's "War and Peace".

Here is a scene from the "Russian Revolution" section featuring a locomotive:

Yes, it's been interesting so far.

Feb 7, 12:33 PM

Olympic opening ceremony: Here comes the U.S. in their fancy jackets

Feb 7, 12:33 PM

The United States Olympic team's opening ceremonies uniforms were the talk of the town before everyone went to Sochi. They are equally as exciting in action.

The flag bearer is Todd Lodwick, a nordic combined skier.

Feb 7, 12:31 PM

Olympic opening ceremony: This time, Jamaica has all their equipment

Feb 7, 12:31 PM

Jamaica had some trouble getting their equipment to Sochi, Russia but they had everything they needed during the opening ceremony. 

The two-man bobsled team raised $121,160 for their Olympic funds after qualifying for the first time in 12 years.

[Courtesy CBC]

Feb 7, 12:15 PM

Olympic opening ceremony: Venezuela wins for most enthusiastic flag bearer

Feb 7, 12:15 PM

Venezuela may not win a medal, but Antonio Pardo wins at life. 

The alpine skier is the country's only athlete in Sochi, and only the fifth-ever Olympian to make the winter Olympics. Oh, and he is 43. 

Feb 7, 12:06 PM

Olympic opening ceremony: PHOTOS - Canada enters in sea of red

Feb 7, 12:06 PM

Canada is in the building, and very excited about it.

Hockey player Haley Wickenheiser was the flag-bearer.

Feb 7, 11:59 AM

Olympic opening ceremony: PHOTO - Germany wearing rainbow outfits

Feb 7, 11:59 AM

As expected, the German contingent wore rainbow-colored uniforms as they entered Fisht Stadium during the Olympic opening ceremony.

[Courtesy CBC Sports]

Feb 7, 11:44 AM

Olympic opening ceremony: PHOTOS - Russia gets excited about alphabet, mountains

Feb 7, 11:44 AM

The Olympic opening ceremonies started off with a bang, except for that time when the last "snowflake" didn't explode into the Olympic ring. Little things. 

It opened with a tribute to the Russian alphabet. The most important part:

Here are a few other photos from the big event:

Feb 7, 11:29 AM

Olympic opening ceremony: Ring malfunction is first glitch

Feb 7, 11:29 AM

The opening ceremony has already encountered its first glitch. "Snowflakes" exploded and turned into the Olympic rings, but one was just too stubborn to follow suit. The red ring was always the worst, anyway.

Feb 7, 10:51 AM

Olympic opening ceremony: PHOTO - Stray dog wanders into stadium

Feb 7, 10:51 AM

Much has been made of the stray dogs in Sochi, and now they have made their way into a venue.

Here's another shot of what appears to be the same dog.

Feb 7, 10:32 AM

Olympic opening ceremony: American uniforms as eye-popping as advertised

Feb 7, 10:32 AM