Feb 7, 2014, 2:43 PM EST
Two of Russia’s finest Olympians got the honor of lighting the cauldron in the climax of the Opening Ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
After tennis superstar and NBC Olympics correspondent Maria Sharapova brought the Olympic flame into Fisht Olympic Stadium, the torch was then passed between pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, wrestler Aleksandr Karelin, and gymnast Alina Kabaeva before finally coming to three-time Olympic gold medalists Irina Rodnina (pairs figure skating) and Vladislav Tretyak (hockey).
Rodnina and Tretyak then jogged outside the stadium to the cauldron’s structure. Upon arriving, they lit a smaller cauldron and the flame shot up the structure before igniting the main cauldron at the top.
Check out NBCOlympics.com to see how the athletes saw tonight’s event in Sochi.
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- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)