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SOCHI, Russia – A balletic, artistic and, at times, seat-shaking celebration in a ceremony designed to reintroduce Russia to the world kicked off the Sochi Olympics on Friday.
President Vladimir Putin, in a black winter coat in near-freezing temperatures, opened the XXII Olympic Winter Games one night after competition began in the Black Sea resort.
The night’s climax, after 2 hours, 40 minutes, was the end of the longest torch relay in Winter Olympics history.
Olympic champions hockey goalie Vladislav Tretiak and figure skater Irina Rodnina jointly lit the flame, a nod to two Winter Olympic sports that the Soviet Union and Russia have long excelled at.
The night also included an early glitch.
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