02/05/2014 10:11 EST | Updated 04/07/2014 05:59 EDT

Flag raising marks unofficial start of Sochi Olympics for Canadians

SOCHI, Russia - Canada's flag has been raised at the international plaza, marking an unofficial start for Canadian athletes at the Olympic games.

Almost a hundred Canadian athletes and staff gathered to watch a Russian musical performance with dancing and see the Olympic mascots. But most importantly they were there to see the red-and-white Maple Leaf flag raised next to the Olympic banner.

That happened just as the sun was setting Wednesday evening over the Black Sea, with the national anthem playing in the background.

Chef de mission Steve Podborski said it was a milestone moment because it was the first time the entire team that's staying in the Coastal Village got together as a group.

And they didn't leave empty-handed, as each athlete received a pair of multi-coloured gloves from Sochi 2014 volunteers.