On 7 February 2014 the Opening Ceremony of the 22nd Olympic Winter Games took place in Sochi. 3,500 athletes from 88 countries participated in the Parade of Nations. The Head of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organising Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach delivered welcome speeches to the participants and guests. Afterwards Russian President Vladimir Putin officially declared the Games open.
The main athletic international competitions, for which the Russian city of Sochi was selected at the IOC session in Guatemala in July 2007, are held between February 7 and 23. Following tradition, after the Games are over, the 11th Winter Paralympic Games will be held at the same facilities March 7-16.
Eleven world-class sports facilities have been constructed in Sochi for the Games. They are located in two clusters: in the mountains and on the coast, each of them has its own Olympic village. After the Olympics, the athletic facilities will serve to develop tourism and sports, and Sochi will become a year-round resort.