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Firework rehearsals in Sochi give sparkling taste of Olympic opening ceremony

Fireworks are shot over the Bolshoy Ice Dome at the conclusion of a rehearsal for the opening ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 1, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/David Goldman

The sky over Sochi lit up with a flurry of fireworks on Saturday as organizers practiced the opening ceremony they will present the world at the Winter Olympics.

The Fisht Olympic Stadium, which is at the centre of the 2014 Games and will welcome athletes from around the world, has a lit up roof which can change colours and draw patterns.

Loud music and light displays could be heard and seen through the roof of the stadium as part of the rehearsals which lasted a little over two hours and ended in a crescendo of fireworks.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent more than $50 billion (US dollars)  at the Olympic Games, a prestige project set to open with great fanfare on February 7.

Putin is expected to revel at the Games opening in the unlikely feat of turning an ageing sub-tropical resort on the Black Sea into a glittering modern hub for a Winter Games in seven years.