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Sochi Olympics kick off with grand opening

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 7, 2014 at 11:13 a.m.

the-united-states-team-arrives-during-the-opening-ceremony-of-the-2014-winter-olympics-in-sochi-russia-on-friday-feb-7-2014

The United States team arrives during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.

SOCHI, Russia — Music, dance and plenty of Russian bravado unleashed the ultimate achievement of Vladimir Putin’s Russia on Thursday — a Winter Olympics to showcase the best athletes on ice and snow that the world has to offer.

The opening ceremony on the edge of the Black Sea and subsequent games are Russia’s chance to tell its story of post-Soviet resurrection to the world, and dispel the anger, fear and suspicion that has marred the buildup to these most expensive Olympics ever.

The ceremony is crafted as a celebration of Russia and is presenting Putin’s version: a country with a rich and complex history emerging confidently from a rocky two decades and now capable of putting on a major international sports event.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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