Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Friday

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

The $780 million Fisht Olympic Stadium.

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia officially begin this Friday with the epic opening ceremony.

Every year, the host country goes all out with major spectacles during the opening ceremony, like China’s 2008 Summer Olympics with its massive fireworks display, floating Buddhist “fairies” suspended in midair, and hundreds of costumed dancers celebrating Chinese culture.

However, event organizers are tight-lipped each year about what to expect, so who knows what Russian President Vladimir Putin has up his sleeve! Maybe he’ll wrestle a bear for us. What we do know is that the night’s performances will include a chorus of 1,000 Russian children and performances by famous Russian musicians like viola player Yuri Bashmet and award-winning Russian pianist Denis Matsuev.

The opening and closing ceremonies will take place at Fisht Olympic Stadium, the center of the games. The stadium cost a mega $780 million to build by the Black Sea, and extra security measures are being taken this year to prevent terrorist attacks from taking place. NBC will cover the event, and the opening ceremony will be hosted by Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera on February 7, at 7:30pm EST.

Images courtesy of Sochi 2014 Winter Games Facebook.