RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has officially opened the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics during a lavish ­ceremony in which International ­Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach called for "goodwill, tolerance, excellence and peace".

An early hiccup at the Fisht Olympic Stadium occurred when one of five rings brought together in mid-air to form the Olympic symbol failed to light properly. But overall, those watching were treated to an impressive show full of spectacular visuals and elaborate choreography.

As the ceremony unfolded, a security scare aboard a passenger plane flying from Ukraine to Turkey underlined concerns the Games could be targeted. A passenger was arrested after claiming there was a bomb on board and then trying to hijack the plane to Sochi.

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