(SOCHI, Russia) — The 2014 Winter Olympics have officially begun.
Russian Hockey legend Vladislav Tretiak and figure skater Irina Rodnina used the torch to light the Olympic cauldron Friday and conclude the opening ceremony of the Sochi Games.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova jogged into the arena holding the torch and passed it off to Tretiak. He and Rodnina ran out of the stadium, up the ramp and lit the cauldron together.
Tretiak and Rodnina have each won three gold medals for the former USSR.
Greece was the first country to enter the stadium, as it is known as the birthplace nation of Olympic competition. The remaining teams marched into the stadium in Russian alphabetical order, putting the U.S. between Slovenia and Tajkistan.
For the next two weeks, over 3,000 athletes will compete in 98 events in various sports. The U.S. has sent 230 athletes to the Sochi Olympics, the largest delegation ever for any country at the Winter Games.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News