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February 11, 2006

Winter: Let the Games begin

Yuri Chechi, an Olympic gymnast from Italy, starts proceedings by pounding an anvil during the opening ceremony of the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Turin, on Friday.

Italian former cross country skier Stefania Belmondo lit the flame.

The athlete, who recently gave up competitive sport to have a family, carried the torch to spark a volley of fireworks that travelled up a spire to light the Olympic cauldron.

That followed a reading of Dante's 'Divine Comedy' and a gilted fairytale scene of opulent dining and fanciful characters in carriages reminiscent of Italian director Federico Fellini.

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Photographs: Getty Images | Text: Reuters

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