Countdown festivities to 2014 Olympic Games begin in Sochi
The Olympic games will largely occur in Sochi, but administrative offices for the games will be housed within the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk and Pyatigorsk federal districts, Itar-Tass reports.
Countdown activities for the winter games began in Sochi with the Thursday opening of a photography exhibition entitled "The World through Children's Eyes," which features a collection of sports-related photographs from across the globe. Photos included in the exhibit were captured by Russian amateur photographers aged seven to 18, some of whom have been orphaned, have disabilities or are live under difficult conditions at home.
Following the exhibitions, participants in the Thursday countdown celebration were guided to the Big Ice Arena, where IOC president Jacques Rogge personally handed out invitations to the 2014 games to olympic committee representatives from Canada, Brazil, South Korea and Russia, according to Itar-Tass.
Later in the evening, the arena hosted a figure skating demonstration featuring Ilya Averbukh, Irina Slutskaya, Tatiana, Roman Kostomarov, Alexei Yagudin, Tatyana Totmyanina and Maxim Marinin.
Approximately 300 artists participated in the Sochi countdown event, which culminated in a fireworks demonstration.
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