Despite the Olympic competition already starting, the Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies starts tonight on NBC!

There’s no denying that the Opening Ceremonies is one of the world’s most amazing spectacles when it occurs every two years for the winter and summer Olympics. Two years ago we saw the incredible Opening Ceremonies for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, which was basically one of the coolest things to have ever happened on Earth!

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Pictured above: London’s Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies in 2012.

The Sochi Winter Olympics will kick off tonight at 7:30pm ET on NBC. The actual live Ceremonies began taking place at 11am ET today, but will be featured in primetime tonight as a tape-delayed broadcast on NBC. The Opening Ceremonies are expected to last for approximately 4 hours.

For American viewers, Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage will “narrate the nearly seven-minute opening tease” that they will air prior to the Opening Ceremonies itself.

Tonight’s Opening Ceremonies will feature 3,500 athletes representing over 87 separate nations. It will also feature the traditional Parade of Athletes, the iconic lighting of the Olympic torch and nearly 3,000 performers.

Watch the Sochi Opening Ceremony live online

As with the 2012 London Summer Olympics, NBC has decided to tape-delay all of the events that it will be airing on television. However, fans can get in on the live action with NBC confirming that every phase of competition from all 15 sports will be available for live streaming on both NBC.com and various mobile apps across app stores. The only catch is that the viewer must be an existing cable subscriber.

The Controversy

The Sochi Winter Olympics come with their fair share of controversy. From the outright legal oppression of gay people in Russia, to the very recent accusation that Sochi officials were ordering the execution of stray dogs in an attempt to clear the streets ahead of the Games, many fans of the Olympics have been appalled. Fans, athletes and journalists have also arrived in Sochi only to find that the infrastructure and preparedness of the Olympic venues to be severely incomplete.

The issues surrounding the Games have lead to a popular new Twitter account labeled @SochiProblems which emphasizes the problems that athletes, fans and journalists have endured – all before the Opening Ceremonies have even begun.

Many people have turned to social media to exclaim their disgust of the Sochi Olympics with some going as far to say they will be boycotting this year to show their disdain.

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are the 22nd Winter Olympiad and the first to be held in Russia.

What are your thoughts about the Sochi Olympics and which events are you most looking forward to over the next few weeks?

Edited by Donya Abramo