Sorry, this video has expiredVideo: Opening ceremony - in pictures (ABC News)
We brought you all the action as it happened (all times AEST):
9:45am:Sir Paul stands up and moves to the front of the stage to involve the audience, before closing his performance by shouting "Welcome to London!" A fitting ending to a truly spectacular opening ceremony.
9:36am:The flame is used to light dozens of torches which rise up to form one, the flame of unity, and thus the Olympic cauldron. So it was the six young athletes who lit the cauldron, not a 'name'. An interesting, if not tad underwhelming, decision. That sets off a fireworks display which lights up London as Pink Floyd plays in the background. A montage of great Olympics moments plays on the video screen.Photo: The stems of the Olympic flame come together to form one, lighting the cauldron. (Reuters: Dylan Martinez)
9:30am:Redgrave passes the Olympic torch onto six young athletes who represent the future of Great Britain at the Olympic Games. Each of them was nominated by some of the greatest sports stars to come out of the United Kingdom.
9:26am:Beijing taekwondo medallist Sarah Stevenson rises up onto the stadium on a platform to read the Olympic oath, where she pledges on behalf of all athletes to perform in the best of spirits and free of drugs.
9:25am:We now see English football superstar David Beckham escorting the Olympic flame up the River Thames on board a speed boat. He passes it onto rower Sir Steve Redgrave, who remarkably won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics.Photo:David Beckham heads down the Thames in a speedboat, carrying the Olympic flame. (Reuters: Eddie Keogh)
9:17am:IOC president Jacques Rogge invites Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, to open the 2012 London Olympics. She does so with a short speech, followed by fireworks. Eight bearers, including Ethiopian long distance champion Haile Gebrselassie, carrythe Olympic flag into the stadium. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali watches on.
9:12am:IOC president Jacques Rogge now addresses the crowd, saying he hopes the Games will leave a long and lasting legacy well after the opening ceremony. He thanks the volunteers for their generous time in bringing the Games together.
Pieces of confetti dropped: 7,000,000,000
Watts in the public address system:1,000,000
Garments used: 57,000
Recycled water bottles used in costumes: 40,000
Square metres of staging: 15,000
Size of volunteer cast:7,500
Square metres of turf used:7,346
Kilometres of cable linking the pixel screens: 317
Days in torch relay:70
Languages spoken by children taking part:50
He also points out that for the first time in Olympic history, all of the participating nations will feature female athletes. He also spoke of Britain's long, long history of sport before addressing the athletes:
"Your talent, your dedication and commitment brought you here.
"Now you have a chance to become true Olympians.
"That honour is determined not by whether you win, but how you compete."
"Welcome to London, welcome to the 2012 Olympic Games, welcome from everyone of us. I have never been so proud to be British, and to be part of the Olympic movement.
"The Olympic Games bring together the people of the world in harmony and friendship and peace to celebrate what is best about man kind.
"London 2012 will inspire a generation.
"This is our time.
"One day we will tell our children and our grandchildren that when our time came, we did it right.
"Let us determine, all of us, all over the world, that London 2012 will see the very best of us."
9:00am:The Arctic Monkeys are on stage performing I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor.
8:55am:Nation #205 - last but not least - Great Britain! Celebrated four-time gold medal winning track cyclist Sir Chris Hoy leads them out to the strains of We Can Be Heroes as a helicopter drops 7 billion of tiny pieces of paper over the stadium - one to represent each person on the planet. The roar from the crowd is deafening.
8:49am:The huge United States contingent enters the building, wearing outfits by Ralph Lauren complete with berets. They lead all nations in the Olympics with 931 gold. Fencer Mariel Zagunis is carrying the stars and stripes.
8:44am:Here's another snap of the Aussies from the AOC. Nearby Timor has just entered the stadium, represented by six athletes.
8:37am:Here's South Africa, with controversial middle distance runner Caster Semenya bearing the flag.
8:34am:Sticking with the tennis theme, five-times grand slam winner Novak Djokovic leads out the Serbian team. Djokovic wept on the podium when he claimed bronze in Beijing four years ago with victory over American James Blake.colourful Mexico team, being led by flagbearer Maria del Rosario Espinoza, enters the Olympic Stadium. (Reuters: Mike Blake)
8:29am:Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova leads her nation into the Olympic Stadium. Earlier this year Sharapova became only the 10th woman in history and sixth in the open era to complete a career Grand Slam by taking out the French Open.
The ABC's Amanda Shalala is at Hyde Park, where there are thousands of people who missed out on tickets to the opening ceremony:
8:15am:ABC reporters Matt Wordsworth and Karen Barlow are filing for Online from the ground in London. Karen penned this on the opening ceremony while Matt's latest piece is on the USA Dream Team.
8:10am:This just in from the AOC Twitter account (@AusOlympicTeam):
The Aussies look amazing having paraded around the Olympic Stadium. Bring on the Games! http://pic.twitter.com/bSgFLNp4
Hockeyroos striker Emily Hurtz (@misshurtz)also tweeted a pic of the ladies prior to the ceremony.
8:06am:Here's the fastest man on the planet and one of the stars of these Games, 100 metres world record holder Usain Bolt, carrying the flag for the mighty Jamaican outfit. The Jamaicans are wearing black tops with (really) bright yellow bottoms.
8:00am:We've posted a gallery of the opening ceremony:
- Photo: The Red Arrows perform a flyover prior to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012. (Getty Images: Chris McGrath)
- Photo:Great Britain cyclist, and 2012 Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins greets spectators after ringing the bell behind him at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, July 27, 2012. (Reuters: David Gray)
- Photo:Performers play cricket during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012. (Getty Images: Stu Foster)
- Photo: Smoke stacks from the industrial age appear during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Damir Sagolj)
- Photo:Actor Sir Kenneth Branagh performs in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Phil Noble)
- Photo: Performers follow a flock of geese during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Mike Blake)
- Photo: Fireworks fall from the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium, July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Suzanne Plunkett)
- Photo: Performers take part in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Suzanne Plunkett)
- Photo: A performer in the role of Queen Elizabeth II, along with James Bond, parachutes out of a helicopter hovering above the stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012. See the photo gallery (Getty Images: Lars Baron)
- Photo:Actor Rowan Atkinson, playing Mr Bean, performs during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Kai Pfaffenbach)
- Photo: Performers dressed as Mary Poppins take part in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. (Reuters: David Gray)
- Photo: Performers take part in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Mike Segar)
- Photo: Alexandros Nikolaidis of the Greece Olympic taekwondo team carries his country's flag during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012. (Getty Images: Cameron Spencer)
- Photo:Basketball player Lauren Jackson leads the Australian team into the stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012. (Getty Images: Lars Baron)
- Photo: A very colourful Mexico team, being led by flagbearer Maria del Rosario Espinoza, enters the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Mike Blake)
- Photo: Chris Hoy of the Great Britain Olympic cycling team carries his country's flag during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Mike Blake)
- Photo: Fireworks go off after all the athletes have entered the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012. (Getty Images: Chris McGrath)
- Photo:David Beckham drives a powerboat down the Thames with the Olympic torch aboard during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Eddie Keogh)
- Photo: Former Olympic rower and winner of five gold medals, Steve Redgrave, carries the Olympic Flame into the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Pool)
- Photo: The stems of the Olympic Flame come together to form one flame during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012. (Reuters: Dylan Martinez)
- Photo: The Olympic cauldron is burns during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012. (Reuters: David Gray)
- Photo: Fireworks ignite over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at Olympic Park in London, England. (Getty: Jamie Squire)
7:45am:The Czechs are wearing gum boots! Says Rechichi (@EliseRechichi):
Czech team got the right idea! Gumboots! It is the uk afterall! http://pic.twitter.com/39lzeagg
7:42am:Here's China - 7-foot-tall NBA basketballer Yi Jianlian is carrying the flag. Since China resumed Olympics participation in 1984 after an absence of three decades, all of its flagbearers have been male basketballers. Former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming had the honour at Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004. Another interesting tidbit - China has sent a team of 380 to the Games - smaller than Australia's 410.
Meanwhile, ABC News 24 spoke with two Australians who performed in the opening ceremony:
7:37am:We're going through the Bs - we've just seen Brazil, currently gearing up for the World Cup in two years time. Meanwhile, the @Olympics Twitter account has posted a snap of the Aussies heading into the Olympic Stadium.
7:26am:And here's Australia! Flagbearer Lauren Jackson leads the team into the stadium and you'd never be able to wipe the beaming smile off her face. A significant roar from the crowd is heard in the background. The Aussies really do look resplendent in their uniforms - white slacks or skirts with bottle green jackets, the insides lined with the names of past gold medal winners.Photo:Flagbearer Lauren Jackson leads the Australian team into the stadium. (Getty Images: Lars Baron)
Below, Jackson's father Gary speaks with the ABC about his daughter's success:
7:24am:sailor Elise Rechichi on Twitter:
Here we go! What could top this?! The heartache all of a sudden seems worthwhile! #nightofyourlife #proudtobeaussie pic.twitter.com/XEH6lM6j
7:20am:OK, here comes the first of our countries entering the stadium - Greece, as is tradition. They walk into Push the Button by English band The Chemical Brothers.
7:15am:We now hear the Christian hymn Abide With Me, sung at every FA Cup since 1927.
7:12am:Many of the athletes are watching the opening ceremony from the comfort of the athletes village, as seen here in this pic tweeted by swimmer Steph Rice (@itsstephrice). Diver Sharlene Stratton (@sharlenestratto) is doing the same:
Watching the opening ceremony in the village! So freaking awesome! :) #2012Olympics #olympicceremony #aussiesarecoming
7:08am:Now we see Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the Briton credited with inventing the World Wide Web, sitting at a computer on stage, as Boyle comments on a progression from the industrial revolution to where we, as a world, sit now. That appears to be it for Boyle's show - spectacular.Photo: Fireworks fall from the Olympic rings during the opening ceremony. (Reuters: Suzanne Plunkett)
7:02am:The British music montage continues - New Order and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Eurythmics and The Prodigy. Spectacular dancing accompanies all of these. Then we see an excerpt from Boyle's Trainspotting featuring the song Born Slippy by Underworld.
6:57am:We're hearing some of the classics of British rock now, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols, Cream, The Jam, The Kinks and Millie Small singing My Boy Lollipop.
6:52am:Boyle now incorporates a clever montage on the impact social media has had on the world. Indeed. We're into the third section of Boyle's show now: "It's very simple, it is a love story," he said in his earlier press conference.
6:49am:Exclamations of "Mr Bean!" are exploding all over social media. There is now vision of Mr Bean among the blokes in the infamous running scene on the beach. He trails off to hop in a car, but later rejoins the front of the line. He trips his nearest challenger over to cross the finish line a winner, before awaking from his dream and rejoining us on stage to 'finish off' the performance with his keyboard. Sir Simon looks on bemused. Says Aussie sailor Nic Douglass (@Nic_Douglass):
#olympics loved the Mr Bean segment!! Classic! #openingceremony
6:47am:English conductor Sir Simon Rattle now appears to lead the London Symphony Orchestra in a rendition of Chariots of Fire. Goosebumps aplenty, this is wonderful. Mr Bean, aka Rowan Atkinson, appears on stage at a keyboard, much to the delight of the crowd (and no doubt many more around the world). He appears to be either taking photos, or possibly even tweeting, from his smart phone.
6:43am:Mike Oldfield of Tubular Bells fame now hammers out some tunes on his guitar on stage.Photo: Performers dressed as Mary Poppins take part in the opening ceremony. (Reuters: David Gray)
6:35am:We're now into the second phase of the extravaganza - celebrating the UK's National Health Service. According to the London 2012 Twitter account (@London2012), almost all of the some 600 dancers in the section work for the NHS. This opening ceremony features over 15,000 volunteers, by the way. Kudos to them.
6:31am:Representatives of the Royal Army, Navy and Air Force now walk through the stadium with the Union flag, which is raised on a pole. The crowd is then asked to stand for the national anthem, God Save the Queen. It is performed by a children's choir wearing pyjamas (well, it is past their bedtime).
6:29am:The helicopter now appears over the stadium (although, amazingly, we've all of a sudden gone from daylight to dark) and 'the Queen' is shown parachuting from the chopper, followed by Mr Bond. Writes Aussie sailor Elise Rechichi (@EliseRechichi) on Twitter:
Queen parachuting in?! Yikes! I hope she stretched prior! :)
"Good evening Mr Bond," Her Royal Majesty says as she turns from writing at her desk.
"Good evening your Majesty," Mr Bond replies.
They strut out of the palace, followed by the Queen's corgi, and take off in a helicopter emblazoned with the Union Jack to travel across the city.Photo: Performers take part in the opening ceremony. (Reuters: Mike Segar)
6:24am:The sequence ends and we now see the Olympic rings, glowing in red in the middle of the stadium, for the first time. A brilliant hoop of blue light rounds the stadium. Writes Aussie swimmer Eamon Sullivan (@Eamon_Sullivan):
Great opening section of the ceremony... Getting goosebumps.
6:15am:Smoke stacks are rising out of the ground as Britain remembers the industrial revolution.
6:08am:After a video sequence celebrating all the countries of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland-born actor/director Sir Kenneth Branagh appears playing Isambard Kingdom Brunel, an English engineer who built bridges and dockyards including the construction of the first major British railway. He has been voted the second greatest Briton of all time, behind Sir Winston Churchill.
6:03am:And here's Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (minus his bike). He walks in to a standing ovation to ring the Olympic Bell. Wiggins is a freak, having won three gold, a silver and two bronze medals in track cycling across three Olympics before shifting to the road.Photo:Great Britain cyclist and 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins greets spectators after ringing the Olympic Bell. (Reuters: David Gray)
6:01am:Boyle is famous for films like Trainspotting and the initial opening sequence wouldn't look out of place in any cinema.
"It seems to me that the industrial revolution began here and changed the whole world really, for good and for bad, and there is no attempt to hide the fact. We call it Pandemonium, which is Milton's invented word for the capital of hell in Paradise Lost."
"It is something that is very dear to people's hearts. Obviously all types of government fight like billio with it to try to control it, to cut it, to deal with it whatever, but there is something about it that is actually so embedded in us that we have decided to keep it."
The ceremony's third sequence is a modern musical affair called "Frankie and June Say Thanks Tim".
"We're very, very proud of the standard of the volunteer dancing in that sequence. It has been extraordinary watching them. It's very simple, it is a love story."
Boyle says the ceremony should be "proudly baffling" and "hopefully charming".
"You do the show for yourselves. You can't do it for the whole world. You know, you hope. So I think some of the audience will be baffled at times, they are bound to be. But I hope it is only temporary and I hope it feels charming rather than really annoying."
6:00am: And the countdown is over! We're off and running. It's raining, surprise, surprise.
5:45am:UK betting has runner Roger Bannister and rower Steven Redgrave at the head of the list for the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron to officially open the Games of the XXX Olympiad. Queen Elizabeth and David Beckham are also among the favourites, together with James Bond.
5:40am:London becomes the first city to host the Olympics three times, following on from 1908 and 1948. Boyle has spent over $42 million on his opening ceremony, which will apparently feature Europe's largest bell.
5:30am: International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge earlier held a press conference where he said London is raring and ready to go:
"In terms of readiness, these Games equal the readiness of Sydney and Beijing but the proof of the pudding is in the eating."
5:15am: We're 45 minutes out from the start of the ceremony and Britain's Royal Air Force aerobatic team, known as the Red Arrows, have just made a spectacular flyover of the Olympic precinct with plumes of red, white and blue smoke trailing behind them.Photo: The Red Arrows perform a flyover prior to the opening ceremony. (Getty Images: Chris McGrath)
Sorry, this video has expiredVideo: ABC reporters Rachael Brown and Peter Lewis speak to revellers ahead of the opening ceremony (ABC News)
Topics: olympics-summer, sport, england, united-kingdom
Source : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-28/live-blog-olympics-opening-ceremony/4160706