Olympics 2014: Opening Ceremony

Vancover Oly Rings

A snowboarder enters through the rings during the Opening Ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games at BC Place in Vancouver. Steve Russell/ZUMApress/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: zumaamericassix749340

Winter athletes first competed in their own Olympic games back in 1924 when 16 nations competed in 18 events in seven sports in Chamonix, France. Since the first Winter Olympics the games have grown tremendously over the last 90 years. In February when Sochi hosts the 22nd Winter Olympics there will be athletes from over 80 countries competing in the games. One of the best ways to see how big and popular the Winter Olympics have become is by looking at the Opening Ceremonies

The Chamonix opening ceremony was a pretty low key with all of the 258 athletes marching with their teams from city hall to the Olympic ice rink where 5,000 spectators watched. After the games were declared open most the athletes took to the ice to celebrate and hold some informal races.

1st Winter Olympics

C. Mandrillon carries the flag for France during the opening ceremony of the 1924 Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France. kpa/united archives/Popperfoto/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: kpacontentminepix040736

The parade of athletes has continued to be a fixture of the opening ceremonies and today is one of the most anticipated Olympic events. The 2010 parade of athletes was the largest with a total of 2566 Olympic athletes.

Cortina d'Ampezzo Olympics

British Olympic Team parade through town during the opening ceremony 1956 Winter Olympic Games at Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy. Daily Mirror Mirrorpix/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: mrpphotos049068

1992 French Winter Olympic Team

French Management during the Opening the Olympic Winter Games 1992 in Albertville France. imago sportfotodienst/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: imagosports076891

2010 Olympic Chinese athletes

Members of the Chinese delegation parade into the stadium during the opening ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games inside the BC Place stadium in Vancouver, Canada, on Feb. 12, 2010. Qi Heng/ZUMApress/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: zumaamericassix745296

Another one of the favorite events for fans and participants during the opening ceremony is of course the lighting of the Olympic cauldron. An Olympic flame did not appear at the Winter Olympics until 1936 during the Garmisch-Partenkirchen games in Germany. The flame just lit and did not include a torch relay. The Oslo, Norway games in 1952 were the first to have a torch relay which stated at the birthplace of skiing, the Morgedal valley in Norway. Since 1964 the flame lighting has taken place in Olympia just like the summer flame.

1948 Winter Olympics Flame

The Olympic Flame at the opening ceremony of the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz Switzerland. KEYSTONE Pictures USA/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: zumaamericasseven663496

Calgary Olympic Tourch

Torch bearer Robin Perry climbs the stairs during the opening ceremony the Olympic Games 1988 in Calgary. imago sportfotodienst/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: imagosports064178

1980 Miracle on Ice team Lights the fire

The 1980 US Hockey team before lighting the cauldron at the 2002 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dean Rutz/MCT/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: krtnextphotos002805

Great One Olymic Flame

Wayne Gretzky lights the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games held at B.C. Place in Vancouver February 12, 2010. Larry Wong/ZUMApress/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: zumaamericassix749332

With the growth in the Winter Olympics the opening ceremonies have been moved from small ice rinks to event venues then giant stadiums where finding an empty seat is imposable. With the incredible shows that now accompany the athletes and the cauldron lighting who would want to leave their seat? Every four years the Winter Olympic Ceremony always finds a way to amaze and with what Russia is planning and spending the 22nd opening ceremony will be a must-see from whatever time zone you’re in. The opening ceremony this year will be February 7 at 11:14 ET.

To see more Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony photos throughout the years be sure to check out the full lightbox on Newscom.

Lake Placed 1932 Olympics

The Olympic Stadium at Lake Placid, during the 1932 Opening Ceremony. kpa/united archives/Popperfoto/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: kpacontentminepix040744

Lnnsbuck Winter Olympics

Scene inside the Ski Jump Stadium at the Opening Ceremony of the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. kpa/united archives/Popperfoto/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: kpacontentminepix041295

Salt Lake  Olympic Stadium

An overview of the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, February 8, 2002. JIM BOURG/REUTERS/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: rtrphotos621132

Turino Opening Ceremony

Opening ceremony and festivities for the 20th Olympic Winter Games 2006 in Turin. Giorgio Perottino/LaPresse/ZUMA Press/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: zumaamericasseven967127

1998 Nagano Sumo Wrestlers

Sumo wrestlers gather at center stage facing the Royal Box to preform their Ring Entering Ceremony for the Opening Ceremonies of the XVIII Olympic Winter Games in Minami Nagano Sports Park, Japan. H. Ruckemann UPI Photo Service/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: upiphotos020266

Salt Lake Olympic Train

A train appears to come out of the grandstands, depicting the era of the transcontinental railroad which was completed nearby in the 1800s, during the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympic Games February 8, 2002. MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: rtrphotos621288

Salt Lake Olympics Child of Light

Performers hold lanterns during “The Child of Light” portion at the Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony Friday February 8, 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah. MERI SIMON KRT/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: krtphotos121812

Olympic Ferrari

A Ferrari Formula One race car performs a spin during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games at the Stadio Comunale in Turin. Kyodo News/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: kyodowc025643

Turin 2006

Italian gymnast Yuri Chechi pouunds on an anvil Friday night Feb. 10, 2006 during the opening ceremonies of the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy. W Luther/San Antonio Express/ZUMA Press/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: zumaamericasseven966864

Canada Cultal desplay 2010

Fiddlers perform around the elevated leaf stage during the cultural display of the opening ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games inside the BC Place stadium in Vancouver, Canada. Qi Heng/ZUMApress/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: zumaamericassix745274

Flying Skier Vancover Olympics

The Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics were held at BC Place in downtown Vancouver. A capacity crowd was on hand for the sound, light and dance show. Richard Lautens/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom. License this image from Newscom.com: zumaamericassix749149

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