NBC will be the home for all Olympic television coverage for the 2014 Sochi Games. It all begins with the opening ceremony on Friday, even though competition technically began on Thursday.
Bob Costas will be the primary host for the afternoon and evening events, per Paul Sirhi of The Washington Post.
Here's the schedule for the event that will officially kick off the Olympic Games in Sochi.
When: Friday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. EST
Where: Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia
Order of Ceremonies
The Parade of Athletes is the first event of the opening ceremony. Each nation will be represented by a small group that includes a flag bearer and athletes. The countries will enter in alphabetical order, with the exception of Greece and Russia.
The former will lead the way as the first ever host nation, and Russia will come in last as the current host.
Secondly, speeches will come from Russian dignitaries and heads of committees for the Olympic Games. Organizing Committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko, Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Russian President Vladimir Putin will address the crowd of 40,000-plus and the millions of viewers on television.
Lastly, the Olympic flame will be lit to symbolize the start of competition.
Billie Jean King Will Not Attend the Games
Per ESPN.com, former tennis great Billie Jean King will not be in Sochi for the Olympics. She is tending to her ailing mother. King said:
With my mother in failing health, I will not be able to join the U.S. Presidential Delegation at this week's opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics.
It is important for me to be with my mother and my brother at this difficult time. I want to thank President Obama for including me in this historic mission, and I look forward to supporting our athletes as they compete in Sochi.
King was chosen by President Obama to lead the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Games.
Fireworks Expected During Grand Opening Ceremony
Per Matt Gutman and Sabrina Parise of ABC News, via Good Morning America, the Russian government has already spent $51 billion on the Olympics. With such a hefty cost, we should expect to see quite a display of pageantry at the opening ceremony.
A grand fireworks display is likely on tap. If the rehearsal from this past Saturday is any indication, Americans might think they are watching a Fourth of July celebration.
Not everyone is a fan of the glamorous opening ceremony tradition, though.
Per Simon Hart of The Telegraph, the Princess Royal told fellow members of the International Olympic Committee at Wednesday’s session in Sochi, "I am old enough that I remember when the opening ceremony was only with the athletes. To me, the balance has gone too far the other way."
That's certainly one way to look at it, but, quite honestly, that's no fun. Hopefully, the ceremony continues to evolve and represents a positive spirit of competition and solidarity, no matter what the details of the event look like.