The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia were officially opened on Friday in a festive atmosphere.
The very costly 22nd Winter Olympic Games are proving to be one of the most controversial international sporting events in history.
Around 3,000 athletes will now be competing for 98 medals over a period of 16 days in arenas which have sprung up in a compact site on the coastline of the Black Sea.
Local security officials have concentrated on maintaining order in the city due to the recent terrorist attacks in the south of Russia.
There are some 37,000 police and military personnel on duty.
However, while patrols are regularly carried out in the city and around the games village, the security has been relatively discreet.
Many of the patrols have been assigned to rounding up stray dogs, a major problem in Sochi.
Transport is being checked frequently as trains and buses have in the past been targeted for terrorist attacks in Russia.
Because Sochi is a seaside resort, it does not receive regular winter snowfall. Daytime temperatures near the sea are 10-12 degrees Celcius.
Nevertheless, the ski slopes, which are in the nearby mountains, are said to be holding a fair amount of snow as the weather is quite cold.