SOCHI, Russia - Friday night, the world will celebrate the official start of the 2014 Winter Olympics with the opening ceremonies.
In the Fisht Olympic Stadium, in front of 40,000, those who managed to get tickets will see an opening ceremony with a big Colorado connection thanks to the company Populous.
Fans will fill the seats and watch the show in a stadium that was designed from the Mile High City. The folks at Populous have been very busy from their downtown Denver offices designing venues for the past 10 Olympics, including Sochi.
The opening and closing ceremonies are being held the Fisht Stadium which was built to be scaled down from 40,000 seats to around 25,000 after the games to make it more economical and better suited for soccer or tennis,
In fact, before the Olympics, Sochi was known for being the home town of tennis star Maria Sharapova - a summer Olympian who won silver in London and is now an ambassador to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Sharapova says, while there has been a lot of negative press leading up the games, her native country is ready to host the world after spending the past seven years transforming Sochi to build an Olympic Park and new roads and rail to the mountains.
"That's the unique perspective that many around the world don't understand is it used to be a small road going up to the mountains a few years ago, and to build roads and tunnels in that amount of time is an incredible amount of work," Sharapova said. "And the fact they got it done is a huge surprise to everyone."
Surprised or not, the games are underway, and during opening ceremony, thousands of athletes will get the chance to take part in something not many ever get the chance to.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)