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Spanish figure skater Javier Fernandez poses with Olympic mascots during the welcoming ceremony for the Spanish Olympic team in the Athletes Village at the Olympic Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi on Thursday. (REUTERS: Laszlo Balogh)

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Sochi Fail? Nobody told the athletes

Athletes reclaim spotlight from politicians

The winter wonderland Russian officials had promised the sporting world burst into life on Thursday as the first events of the Sochi Olympics got underway on the eve of the opening ceremony.

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