Let the Winter Olympics officially begin! The games kicked off on Friday evening during the Opening Ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi. As expected, the dazzling show featured a presentation of the host nation's rich history, the diverse group of athletes and a fantastic fireworks display after the lighting of the Olympic torch by former ice hockey player Vladislav Tretyak and retired rhythmic gymnast Alina Kavaeva. Team USA, a group 230 athletes and the largest delegation from the states to ever participate in the winter games, proudly marched in
Ralph Lauren's Christmas-sweater-esque design. Nordic combined six-time Olympian
Todd Lodwick was the flagbearer.
Workers at a World Cup stadium in the jungle city of Manaus are threatening to go on strike to demand better conditions following a third recent construction-related death at the venue. A walkout could further delay the completion of the Arena da Amazonia just months before the start of football's showcase tournament. Union leader Cicero Custodio told Brazilian news media "We have to guarantee the workers' rights and their safety. Nobody will get in on Monday." The Arena da Amazonia is one of the five stadiums still under construction for the World Cup.
The first day of medal competition at the Sochi Winter Olympics kicked off with some record-breaking wins. Sven Kramer of the Netherlands led a clean sweep by the Dutch in the men's 5,000-meter speed skating. In slopestyle's Olympic debut, U.S. snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg won the first gold medal of the games.