Fisht Olympic Stadium will play host to the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the exciting festivities of the opening ceremony are set to begin on Friday, Feb. 7.
The ceremony will be broadcast on NBC, and the network will be bringing out its best to cover the spectacle. Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Bob Costas will serve as your guides through the action of the Winter Games.
As Brian Steinburg of Variety.com explains, however, NBC will not be live streaming the Olympic opener, so don't expect to hop online and catch the event.
In an interesting twist, the opening ceremony won't be taking place on the first day of the action. Thursday, Feb. 6 will be the start of several events, such as team figure skating and snowboarding.
Regardless, the opening ceremony for the 2014 Winter Olympics is sure to be exciting and full of spectacle. Here's all your pertinent viewing information as well as what to watch for on Friday.
What: 2014 Olympics Opening Ceremony
When: Friday, Feb. 7
Where: Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia
TV: NBC, 7:30 p.m. ET
What good is any big-time event without live performances?
In November, Russian newspaper Izvestia (via The Moscow Times) reported that four Russian artists would be performing at the Olympic opener. Conductor Valery Gergiev, violinist and conductor Yuri Bashmet, pianist Denis Matsuev and ballerina Ulyana Lopatkina will all be performing.
Aside from the four Russian stars, it's easy to wonder if at least one more musician will perform at Fisht Olympic Stadium. Danielle Bradbery's song "My Day" has been chosen as a featured song during NBC's coverage of the Olympics. You can check out the inspiring video below:
Even though the events will take place in Russia, one can't help but wonder if Bradbery will make her way onstage during the opening ceremony.
Two speeches will be given at the opening ceremony—one by OCOG President Dmitry Chernyshenko and one by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. This is Bach's first year as IOC President, so this will be his first Olympic speech.
Much has been made about security leading up to the Games, but Chernyshenko has been outspoken in regard to how safe the city of Sochi is. He told the Associated Press (via FoxSports.com), "I can assure you that Sochi will be among the most security-friendly games and all the procedures will be very gentle and smooth."
Hopefully this will help ease some of the tension surrounding the Games.
Bach also made headlines when he blasted politicians for using the Sochi Games as a political platform, via ESPN.com:
Have the courage to address your disagreements in a peaceful direct political dialogue and not on the backs of the athletes. People have a very good understanding of what it really means to single out the Olympic Games to make an ostentatious gesture which allegedly costs nothing but produces international headlines.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will also address Fisht Olympic Stadium, as he'll declare the start of the Games.
Parade of Nations
The most thrilling aspect of every opening ceremony is the parade of nations. Occurring at the end of the event, the parade of nations is when all of the athletes from every competing country walk into the stadium and show off their Olympic duds.
The United States' uniforms are a sight to behold, and you can take that statement whichever way you'd like.
Here's what they look like, just in case you've yet to lay eyes on them:
The parade of nations isn't about the clothing, though. Actually, it really isn't even about the athletes themselves. This tradition is all about seeing how sport can unify countries across the globe.
That's the biggest picture here.