The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics took place at the Fisht Stadium—a complex that was specifically built for the games—in Sochi, Russia, on 7 February 2014. This breath-taking ceremony was one of the reasons the 2014 Olympics in Russia was the most expensive Olympic games ever, costing more than $51 billion. An estimated forty thousand people in the stadium, along with three billion people worldwide, watched the ceremony’s celebration of Russia’s history and culture. The ceremony opened with a video montage, in which the letters of the Cyrillic alphabet were associated with Russian historical events. This was followed by the Parade of Athletes, headed by the Greek athletes and culminating with the host nation. The crowds were then wowed by a 65-metre long troika and a giant inflatable structure in the form Moscow’s iconic St Basil’s Cathedral. Later, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, declared the games open. Legendary Russian hockey goalie Vladislav Tretiak and Russian figure skater Irina Rodnina then lit the Olympic flame. After a dramatic firework finale, the stage was set for 16 days of equally dramatic competition. Thus, the Olympic games began!