A passionate celebration of sport and all things Italian in the opening ceremony of the 20th Winter Olympics, which showcased centuries of culture and creativity.
Tens of thousands of people watched the spectacular song and dance extravaganza and outside the stadium fans from across the world gathered in Turin’s Piazza San Carlo. “It’s stupendous, a unique thing for us, especially for us residents of Turin. It’s marvellous thing, to see all the people so united especially at such a critical time,” said one Italian woman. A Russian spectator added: “It was amazing like a fairytale. I’ve never seen this kind of an opening ceremony before. It was really one of the best ceremonies ever.” While another fan was full of praise for the show: “I thought it was absolutely superb. It was colourful and brilliant. And noisy, very, very noisy. Excellent!” At the end of the ceremony former cross country skier Stefania Belmondo, the final torch bearer, lit an arc of fireworks which wound their way round the stadium to light the Olympic cauldron.