All told, Sochi’s Opening Ceremony will run two hours and 30 minutes. And our guide is an adorable child named Lyubov, which means “love” in Russian, who awakens from a dream and floats through time amid images of the artists, authors, playwrights, scientists and musicians that define Russia’s contribution to the arts and sciences: Tchaikovsky, Kandinsky, Nabokov, Sputnik, Chekov, Pushkin, Chagall and so on.

Lyubov is intended to represent the feminine soul of Mother Russia and serve as a “red thread” that weaves together the 18-segment journey through the country’s history.

And now she takes flight, as a cozy woods, quaint village float across the sky with her. This segment is called “Dreams of Russia,” and it’s a fantastic dream, with townspepople emerging from beneath the stadium. I dare say, entire civilizations.

Suddenly, it’s snowing! And President Vladimir Putin takes his seat, to applause along with IOC President Thomas Bach.

2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies

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Russia's Maria Sharapova carries the torch during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

2014 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies

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Russia's Maria Sharapova carries the torch during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)