sport

Putin 'satisfied' with ceremony

Russia president Vladimir Putin was "satisfied" with Friday's opening ceremony for the Sochi Winter Olympics, according to organisers.

The official start of the Games, which have cost Russia 30billion to stage, was marked with a lavish showpiece in the Fisht Olympic Stadium that was observed by Putin from the stands.

An early hiccup occurred when one of five rings brought together in mid-air to form the Olympic symbol failed to light properly.

But, overall, those watching in the arena and around the world were treated to an impressive show full of spectacular visuals and elaborate choreography.

Asked what Putin, who declared the Games open during the proceedings, had made of the ceremony, Sochi 2014 organising committee president and chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko said: "After the finishing of the opening ceremony, the president expressed his gratitude toward the team, to the deputy prime minister (Dmitry) Kozak and all the creative team.

"He was satisfied with the result."

Regarding the cost of the show, Chernyshenko added: "We have to understand that we have four ceremonies in our budget, which is absolutely transparent.

"I would refrain from certain figures, but I know that our budget in general is pretty similar to the operational budget of the previous organisers, which is 2.2billion dollars."

Around the time of the ceremony, reports were emerging of a man attempting to hijack a plane travelling from Ukraine and divert it to Sochi, with an emergency landing having to be made in Turkey.

On that matter, Chernyshenko said: "We were aware of this incident.

"There were not any threats and I know that the Ukraine and Turkish authorities did their best to fix this hooligan incident."