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World enthusiastically hails opening of 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

February 08, 5:17 UTC+3 8
Mass media around the world hurried to share their off-the-cuff impressions of what instantly became history
Material has 1 page
© EPA/SERGEY ILNITSKY

MOSCOW, February 8 (Itar-Tass). The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics was held in the seaside resort city of Sochi, southern Russia, on the evening of Friday, February 7. Minutes after the Olympic flame was lit up, mass media around the world hurried to share their off-the-cuff impressions of what instantly became history.

NEW YORK. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have offered detailed, emotional and friendly accounts of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony.

The New York Times described in detail the marvelous show presenting the highlights of the country’s centuries-long dramatic history. “What a night! We have seen some ballet, heard some opera, learned some things about the Russian alphabet and taken a whirlwind tour of Russian history that included references to Peter the Great, the cosmonauts, “War and Peace” and industrial production,” says the daily’s contributor.

The Wall Street Journal said the opening ceremony was “a spectacular tour through Russia's history, heavily emphasizing the country's contributions to classical music, ballet and visual art.” “Swirling samovars, dancing boyars and flying helium-inflated onion domes from Russia's early czarist era gave way to the arrival of Peter the Great, the leader who modernized Russia into a European-looking nation. Then came the grandeur of a ballroom scene evoking perhaps the most famous moment from Tolstoy's "War and Peace," the paper writes.

WASHINGTON. The Washington Post believes the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics was “poetry in motion.” “Every part of the program was written in the superlative,” the daily’s Moscow correspondents Kathy Lally and Will Englund say in their story from Sochi published by the newspaper’s electronic version. “The effect was majestic...”

BELGRADE. The presence of so many heads of state at the opening of the Olympics in Sochi was evidence many problems among countries can be overcome, President Tomislav Nikolic, of Serbia, said Friday. He is certain that the spirit of true sportsmanship can prevail in relations between countries and peoples, and not only among athletes.

WARSAW. Poland’s TV audiences were literally riveted to the silver screens Friday evening to see the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony telecast live. Local sports fans are looking forward to the beginning of sports events where the country’s athletes have the best chances. Poland’s national team at the Olympics is largest-ever - 56 athletes - and it is widely hoped that at least ten medals will be theirs.

SOFIA. Bulgarian mass media make no secret of their admiration over the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics. The national television telecast the ceremony live on a special high resolution signal television channel. Local commentators spared no epithet to describe the breathtaking narration of the most dramatic episodes of Russian history and culture.

STOCKHOLM. The opening ceremony was “marvelous, elegant and surrealistic.” “The cool evening of February 7 is now history. Not a single opening ceremony was so spectacular and technically, artistically and musically perfect. This is precisely what we all had anticipated,” says Anders Lindblad in Svenska Dagbladet. “I have never seen anything like that. When Vladislav Tretyak and Irina Rodnina lit the Olympic flame, I felt young again.”

BRUSSELS. The European Commission has warmly greeted the Sochi winter Olympics and wished its participants great success. “Winter Olympics are always a very special moment in the world of sports. They symbolize the unity of athletes from all over the world in their intention to participate in the main sports event. The Games are one of the main cementing forces of our society,” said the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou.

ROME. Commentators are unanimous the opening ceremony’s key features were “great taste, exquisiteness and elegance.” Some said it was “impeccable, touching, well-conceived, balanced, dynamic and clear despite the abundance of Russian realities.”

HELSINKI. It was a “stunning” event, says the local newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet. "A real feast for the eyes, informative and lavish.

MINSK“This is a really marvellous, tremendous show, surprising by its large scale,” Belarusian TV viewers wrote in social networks.

Belarusians noted that for a relatively short time of the opening ceremony its organisers succeeded “to express Russia’s soul perfectly and show a great history of the country.” “Even people not acquainted with the history of Russian state were certainly impressed by dynamic development of the country hosting the Winter Olympics and change of epochs,” they wrote in social networks.

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