Vladimir Putin waited years for this moment. And then it was over in seconds.
The preparations were complete, the athletes were attired in their finest and strangest uniforms, the mascots had done their dancing, and the only task that remained was that of declaring the 2014 Olympic Games officially open.
After two-and-a-half hours of Opening Ceremonies pageantry, Putin stepped to the podium and, without any preface or delay, declared the Olympic Games officially open, setting off fireworks shooting into the Russian night sky.
Doves were released into the air, and Putin's moment in the spotlight was complete.