Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV

Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Photos from Sochi
Fireworks set the sky ablaze over Olympic Park
Alexander Demianchuk/Reuters/Landov

updated 02/07/2014 at 01:30 PM EST

originally published 02/07/2014 01:00PM

SPOILER ALERT: This post divulges details of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony, which has not aired in the U.S.

Due to broadcasting delays, Americans will be among the last in the world to see the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, scheduled to air Friday at 7:30 ET.

But never fear, we have all the photos you need to whet your appetite: Photos of the steaming volcanoes, dancing jellyfish, flying girls, floating islands and, of course, fireworks! (Look close and you'll also see a giant, some might say menacing, teddy bear.)

So for those of you desperate for your Olympic fix NOW, enjoy these highlights:



1. A Girl's Kite Ride Over Russian Islands

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

A girl performer goes for a soaring kite ride over the Russian islands created in Fisht stadium

Mark Blinch / Reuters / Landov

2. Dancing Jellyfishes, What Else?

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Encircled in light, a group of dancers captivate the audience

Tatyana / EPA / Landov

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Those aren't jellyfish, they're the first of many lighted dancers from the opening ceremony

Tatyana Zenkovich / EPA / Landov

3. The Olympic Gods, as a Light Show

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Illuminated figures are suspended, framing Fisht stadium in light

Mark Baker / AP

4. Classic Ballet Beauty

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Bolshoi dancer Svetlana Zakharova does a stunning ballerina spin for the Olympic crowds

Alberto Puzzoli / AFP / Getty

5. The Arrival of the Torch

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014

Alina Kabaeva carries the Olympic torch into the stadium for its final leg

Ryan Pierse / Getty

6. The Cauldron!

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

The Olympic Cauldron is lit. Let the games begin!

Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters / Landov

7. The World Map (as a Stage)

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

An overhead view of the stage, picturing the countries of the world, used for the athletes' parade

Pawel Kopczynski / Reuters / Landov

8. Team USA!

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

The United States team is all smiles while entering Fisht stadium for the athletes' parade

Patrick Semansky / AP

9. Performers on Wheels

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Glowing performers switch dance shoes for roller blades as part of a fast-moving opening ceremony routine

Barbara Walton / EPA

10. Russian History, Renacted

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Scissor-lift platforms and banners create an impressive urban landscape for a retelling of Russia's history

Tatyana Zenkovich / EPA / Landov

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Traditional Russian dancers emerge from the fog to wow the crowds ... and enjoy the fake snow

Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune / MCT





11. The Fireworks

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Fireworks set the sky ablaze over Olympic Park

Alexander Demianchuk / Reuters / Landov

12. That Giant Teddy Bear

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Giant animatronic versions of the Sochi Olympics' mascots, Hare, Bear and Leopard, tower over the crowds

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters / Landov

13. The Magical Balloon Ride

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

A young girl grabs on tight for a beautiful balloon ride through the opening ceremony

Patrick Semansky / AP

14. An Underwater Dance Routine

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014

Dancers make their own waves as part of Natasha Rostova's First Ball during the opening ceremony

Quinn Rooney / Getty

15. Light Hockey

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

These hockey players give a new meaning to stars on ice

Mark Baker / AP





16. Horses, Towing the Sun

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

Bright, giant horses are the perfect animals to pull the sun across the Russian sky

Mark Blinch / Reuters / Landov

17. And, of Course, More Fireworks!

Sochi Photos: 17 Opening Ceremony Highlights We Can't Wait to See on TV| Winter Olympics 2014, Olympics

The opening ceremony can never settle for just one firework show

Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty

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