SOCHI, Russia -- A Russia in search of global vindication kicked off the Sochi Olympics looking more like a Russia that likes to party, with a pulse-raising opening ceremony about fun and sports instead of terrorism, coddling despots and gay rights. Dontae Johnson Seahawks Jersey . And thats just the way Vladimir Putin wants these Winter Games to be. The worlds premier athletes on ice and snow have more to worry about than geopolitics as they plunge into the biggest challenges of their lives on the mountain slopes of the Caucasus and in the wet-paint-fresh arenas on the shores of the Black Sea. But watch out for those Russians on their home turf. A raucous group of Russian athletes had a message for their nearly 3,000 rivals in Sochi, marching through Fisht Stadium singing that theyre "not gonna get us!" Superlatives abounded and the mood soared as Tchaikovsky met pseudo-lesbian pop duo Tatu. Russian TV presenter Yana Churikova shouted: "Welcome to the centre of the universe!" Yet no amount of cheering could drown out the real world. Fears of terrorism, which have dogged these Games since Putin won them amid controversy seven years ago, were stoked during the ceremony itself. A passenger aboard a flight bound for Istanbul said there was a bomb on board and tried to divert the plane to Sochi. Authorities said the plane landed safely in Turkey. The show opened with an embarrassing hiccup, as one of five snowflakes failed to unfurl as planned into the Olympic rings, forcing organizers to jettison a fireworks display and disrupting one of the most symbolic moments in an opening ceremony. Some world leaders purposely stayed away, but U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and dozens of others were in Sochi for the ceremony. He didnt mention the very real anger over a Russian law banning gay "propaganda" aimed at minors that is being used to discriminate against gay people. But IOC President Thomas Bach won cheers for addressing it Friday, telling the crowd its possible to hold Olympics "with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason." Also missing from the show: Putins repression of dissent, and inconsistent security measures at the Olympics, which will take place just a few hundred kilometres away from the sites of a long-running insurgency and routine militant violence. And the poorly paid migrant workers who helped build up the Sochi site from scratch, the disregard for local residents, the environmental abuse during construction, the pressure on activists, and the huge amounts of Sochi construction money that disappeared to corruption. For all the criticism, there was no shortage of pride at the ceremony in what Russia has achieved with these Games. The head of the Sochi organizing committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, captured the mood of many Russians present when he said, "Were now at the heart of that dream that became reality." "The Games in Sochi are our chance to show the whole world the best of what Russia is proud of," he said. "Our hospitality, our achievements, our Russia!" The ceremony presented Putins version of todays Russia: a country with a rich and complex history emerging confidently from a rocky two decades and now capable of putting on a major international sports event. Putin himself was front and centre, declaring the Games open from his box high above the stadium floor. Earlier, he looked down as the real stars of the Games -- those athletes, dressed in winter wear of so many national colours to ward off the evening chill and a light dusting of man-made snow -- walked onto a satellite image of the earth projected on the floor, the map shifting so the athletes appeared to emerge from their own country. As always, Greece -- the birthplace of Olympic competition -- came first in the parade of nations. Five new teams, all from warm weather climates, joined the Winter Olympics for the first time. Togos flagbearer looked dumbstruck with wonder, but those veterans from the Cayman Islands had the style to arrive in shorts. Canada entered midway through the march. Womens hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser carried the Maple Leaf to lead representatives from Canadas 220-athlete team. Its Canadas biggest team ever assembled for a Winter Games. "To represent the best of Canada is such an honour, its chilling," Wickenheiser said. "There is so much excitement." Canada looked sharp in outfits designed by Hudsons Bay, featuring a red coat with toggle style buttons and a black stripe adorning the hip line. The women in the Canadian contingent wore black mock turtlenecks and wool V-neck sweaters, while the men sported a tailored white dress shirt, wool cardigan and red and white striped ties. Black bottoms rounded out the ensembles "I wish our Olympians the best of luck as they take on the world in Sochi," Prime Minister Stephen Harper posted on his Twitter account. Canadas target is to finish first overall in the medal count after finishing third with 26 medals at home in 2010. Not all of Canadas athletes marched into Fisht Olympic Stadium. The mens hockey team hasnt arrived yet, figure skaters are in the middle of the team competition and skiers and sliders are staying too far away from the host city. The smallest teams often earned the biggest cheers from the crowd of 40,000, with an enthusiastic three-person Venezuelan team winning roars of approval as flag bearer and alpine skier Antonio Pardo danced and jumped along to the electronic music. Only neighbouring Ukraine, scene of a tense and ongoing standoff between a pro-Russian president and Western-leaning protesters, could compete with those cheers. That is, until the Russians arrived. Walking in last to a thundering bass line that struggled to overcome the ovations from the hometown crowd, the Russians reveled in all the attention. Their feeling could perhaps best be summed up by Russian singers Tatu, whose hit "Not Gonna Get Us" accompanied them to their seats. Russians place huge significance in the Olympics, carefully watching the medal count -- their dismal performance in Vancouver four years ago is on the minds of many. These Games are particularly important, as many Russians are still insecure about their place in the world after the end of the Cold War and the years since that have seen dominance of the United States and China. International politics were never far beneath the surface. One member of the VIP crowd carrying the Olympic flag was Anastasia Popova, a young televison reporter with the state-owned Rossiya TV channel, best known for her reporting in Syria. Putin and Russian state media have stood strongly behind Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Popovas coverage laid the blame for the Syrian civil war squarely on Syrian rebels. But back to that Russian pride. As Churikova rallied the crowd to scream "louder than ever," she told the fans in their cool blue seats their keepsakes from the night would last 1,000 years. When explaining the show would be hosted in English, French and Russian, she joked that it didnt matter, because in Sochi, everyone "speaks every language in the world." The moment of high pride came at the end, when Russian hockey great Vladislav Tretiak and three-time gold medallist Irina Rodnina joined hands to light the Olympic cauldron. Hes often called the greatest goaltender of all time by those who saw him play, she won 10 world pairs figure skating titles in a row. That was how it ended. At the top, the show -- and the Games -- easily avoided talking about prickly issues even when the women in Tatu took the stage. The duo, who put on a lesbian act that is largely seen as an attention-getting gimmick, merely held hands during their performance on this night, stopping short of the groping and kissing of their past performances. This time? Their lead-in act was the Red Army Choir MVD singing Daft Punks Grammy-winning "Get Lucky." Rasheem Green Seahawks Jersey . This week, topics cover the Blue Jays rotation, the futures John Gibbons and Alex Anthopoulos, protecting pitchers and a bonus question on his predictions for the MLB playoffs. Byron Maxwell Seahawks Jersey . Heck, we might just miss the BCS. Maybe? It sort of worked out this season. Top-ranked Florida State (13-0) was the only team to get through the regular season unbeaten, and the Seminoles did it in dominating fashion. http://www.seahawksfansofficial.com/will-dissly-jersey/ .com) - Nino Williams posted 18 points and seven rebounds, as Kansas State edged No.DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- With the famed No. 3 on his car and memories of the late Dale Earnhardt fresh in his mind, Austin Dillon took the fabled number out of hibernation and straight to the top at Daytona. Dillon reawakened the days of The Intimidator and proved he can handle the spotlight thrust on his ride in the 3, winning the pole Sunday for the season-opening Daytona 500. He took the top spot with a lap at 196.019 mph in NASCARs season opener in a car Richard Childress has refused to field at NASCARs top level since Earnhardts fatal accident on the last lap of the 2001 race. But with his 23-year-old grandson ready to move to the Sprint Cup Series, Childress allowed Dillon to use the number widely associated with the seven-time champion. Earnhardt won 67 races, six championships and the 1998 Daytona 500 driving the No. 3. Dillon was a kid when he posed for a picture with Earnhardt in Victory Lane following his breakthough 1998 win. Hell have many more memories from this milestone, like the congratulatory handshake he received from Richard Petty when qualifying ended. NASCARs family roots run deep, so Childress never had to leave the family tree to find the right driver for the number. Dillon has been using it in NASCAR national competition since 2009, when he made his Truck Series debut in the No. 3. He won the Truck championship in 2011 driving the No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, and the Nationwide title last season in the same number. So Childress knew -- he always knew and has insisted that Earnhardt gave his blessing long before his death -- that Dillon could use the number if he ever made it to Cup. Dillon doesnt take the responsibility lightly. "Everybody wants to see this number perform well, and thats what my goals are," Dillon said. "I love getting in that race car and driving it. I think once we get through some of these races here at the beginning of the year, everything will sink in and Ill get comfortable and be able to have some fun.&quoot; Its the fourth time the No. Jaron Brown Jersey. 3 has won the pole for the Daytona 500. Buddy Baker did it in 1969, Ricky Rudd in 1983 and Earnhardt in 1996. Martin Truex Jr., driving a Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing, qualified second with a lap at 195.852 mph. Truexs engine is built by Earnhardt-Childress Racing, giving the company a sweep of the Daytona 500 front row. "Obviously, without that thing under the hood, we wouldnt be where we are," said Truex, who won the Daytona 500 pole in 2009 with an ECR engine when he drove for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. The rest of the field is set Thursday through a pair of qualifying races, but Childress and the ECR engines are strong: They had five cars in the top 12 on Sunday. Childress knew he had a shot at the pole, if not with Dillon then from another one of his four Richard Childress Racing entries. All were fast in January testing, and again in two Saturday practice sessions. But it was Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., the first driver to make his qualifying attempt, who set the pace early and held down the provisional pole for most of the session. RCR drivers Brian Scott and Paul Menard failed to bump Earnhardt, and it was surprisingly Ford driver Greg Biffle who finally did it as the 33rd driver to take his turn. Ryan Newman then took his shot for RCR and missed, and Dillon was the next driver out. He shot to the top of the board and his grandfather pumped his fist in celebration. He then nervously watched as the final 10 drivers made their runs, and gave another fist-pump in celebration. "We wanted to come down here and put on a good show with the 3, and to have another ECR engine with Furniture Row on the front row, we couldnt be more proud," Childress said. So could he finally relax? "The pressure is always on when youve got grandsons racing for you," said Childress, who thanked all the sponsors who "believed in this young kid, who took a chance on him." Youth NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Disocunt Football Jerseys China Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale NFL Gear Cheap Jerseys ' ' '