Sochi Olympics opening tonight: Armenia represented by four athletes

The Opening Ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi will be held in the “Fisht” Olympic Stadium of Sochi on 7 February 2014, and will start at 20:14 Moscow time (16:14GMT), symbolizing the year of the first ever Russian Winter Games.

“The Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony will be remembered for its scale, style and innovative technology,” reads an official statement of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee.

Four athletes will represent Armenia at the 22nd Winter Olympics: skiers Sergey Mikayelyan, 22, and Artur Yeghoyan, 24, Katya Galstyan, 21. Arman Serebrakian, a 26-year-old Armenian American from California, will represent the nation in Alpine skiing.

Mikayelyan will also be the standard-bearer for the Armenian team during tonight’s opening ceremony in Sochi also to be attended by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

More than 3,000 young talents from schools, as well as professional artistic groups, will take part in many of the scenes, which include professional dance, ballet, acrobatic and circus performances. 2,000 Sochi 2014 volunteers will help in the organization of the Ceremonies both on stage, behind the scenes and within the grounds of the Olympic Park.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will welcome the spectators to the Ceremony, and the sound of the Russian national anthem will accompany the flag-raising ceremony of the host country.

For the first time ever, the traditional athletes’ parade – Parade of Nations – will be performed in an innovative way with athletes stepping up to the stage along a 48-meter ramp in the middle of the stadium. Representatives of 88 national delegations will take part in the Parade of Nations.

After the official speeches of the president and CEO of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, and the president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, Russian President Vladimir Putin will declare the XXII Olympic Winter Games open.

By tradition, the Opening Ceremony will end with the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. The name of the final torchbearer remains a closely guarded secret. The Cauldron of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 will be lit from the very torch that has visited outer space as part of the 2014 Torch Relay.

The Olympic Games will be declared closed on February 23, 2014. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Paralympic Winter Games will take place on March 7, 2014 and March 16, 2014, respectively.

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