The flame is lit, the Games are underway and opinions on Russia’s opening ceremony to the Winter Olympic showpiece in Sochi are divided and varied.
In tones reminiscent of the days of cold war rhetoric many in the west have been picking over a technical glitch, the choice of one of the woman who lit the flame and suggestions one of the female torch carriers is linked with President Vladimir Putin.
“Not everything has to be perfect, this simply happens. You can plan and do everything, but this makes the whole thing perfect,” said German Michael Baumann who is in Sochi to watch the Games
A snow flake which simply refused to blossom into the fifth Olympic ring was quickly covered up for television viewers with a recording of the rehearsal. President Putin can be seen in a picture watching the TV coverage from his hotel suite.
Five gold medals will be contested on this day one of competition at the Black Sea resort when the focus will sharpen on athletic prowess and national pride on snow and ice.