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Today at the Olympics: Officially, let the games begin

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  February 7, 2014 07:17 AM

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Each day throughout the Winter Olympics, we'll bring you a daily rundown on what to expect and a look at key story lines in Sochi.

What to watch today, Friday Feb. 7:

Although competition has already officially gotten underway in Sochi, Russia, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will hold their Opening Ceremony on Friday, which will be sure to feature all the pageantry we’ve become accustomed to in these events. Probably even more so this year, as Russia certainly wants to make a statement in kicking off the most expensive Winter Games in Olympic history.

Friday’s program will feature a march through Russian history and culture, the parade of nations (the US has its largest contingent ever for a Winter Olympics; the Russians have the most team members in Winter Olympic history), and the traditional lighting of the cauldron with the Olympic flame, which will burn over Sochi for the next 17 days.

A report on Friday stated that Russian president Vladimir Putin’s rumored girlfriend, Alina Kabayeva, a 2004 Olympic rhythmic gymnastics champion, may light the Olympic flame at Fisht Stadium.

While US Olympics rights holder NBC will be streaming all events during these Games, it will not be carrying the Opening Ceremony live. The ceremony, which takes place at 11 a.m., will be broadcast in its entirety during the network’s prime time coverage beginning Friday night at 8.

Tweets from the athletes:

Vermont native Hannah Kearney posted a score of 23.05 to win qualifying in women’s moguls.

Teammate Eliza Outtrim, who is from Connecticut, finished fourth in qualifying.

Canadian figure skater Kirsten Moore-Towers ran into Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who will carry the Slovakian flag in the Opening Ceremony.

The US’s Julia Mancuso finished third in Thursday’s downhill training runs. New Hampshire’s Bode Miller finished first for the men.

Marissa Castelli, a native of Cranston, R.I., reacted after she and her partner, Simon Shnapir, who hails from Sudbury, finished fifth with a score of 64.25 in the team pairs short program on Thursday.

US snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Karly Shorr both automatically qualified for the women’s slopestyle final with their performances on Thursday.

Photo of the day:


Security personnel watch a practice run of a fountain show to music from "Swan Lake" on the perimeter of the Olympic cauldron in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The cauldron will be lit with the Olympic torch during Friday's opening ceremonies. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

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