The Opening Ceremony was held at the Fisht stadium. 3,500 athletes from 88 countries participated in the Parade of Nations. Head of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organising Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach made welcome speeches before Vladimir Putin declared the Games officially open.
The main athletic international competitions, for which Sochi was selected at the IOC session in Guatemala in July 2007, will be held on February 7–23. Following tradition, after the main Games are completed, the Winter Paralympic Games will be held at the same facilities on March 7–16.
Eleven world-class sports facilities have been constructed for the Games. They are located in two clusters: the mountain and coastal clusters, each of which has its own Olympic village. After the Olympics, the athletic facilities will serve to develop tourism and sports, and Sochi will become a year-round resort.