The Olympic Games Is On
7/28/2012 3:01:18 PM -
Thousands of people filled the Olympic Stadium ahead of the £27m opening ceremony of the London Games yesterday.
The three-hour spectacle at the Olympic Park was viewed by a global TV audience of around one billion people.
The Olympic flame is at City Hall ahead of its ceremony appearance, on the last leg of its 70-day UK-wide journey.
Artistic director of the ceremony, Danny Boyle, dedicated it to the 15,000 volunteers who took part in the spectacular event, which was named the Isles of Wonder.
Crowds of people, many of them dressed up in their nation's colours, gathered in large numbers at the Olympic Park.
The day of celebration began at 08:12 BST (07:12 GMT) with a mass bell ringing. Big Ben rang for three minutes for the first time since King George VI's funeral in 1952.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'It's a great opportunity to show the world the best of Britain, a country that's got an incredibly rich past but also a very exciting future.
'Someone asked me yesterday what face of Britain do we want to put forward - is it Blur or the Beefeaters? - and frankly it's both.'
Tony Blair, who was prime minister when London won the Games in 2005, said, 'It's not only a party atmosphere but also an immense sense of national pride - of what we are and what we can show the world.'
Some 15,000 sq m of staging and 12,956 props was used, and the event boasted a million-watt PA system using more than 500 speakers.
The crowd of about 80,000 included the Queen and a host of dignitaries and celebrities.
The Queen and Prince Philip earlier hosted a Buckingham Palace reception for foreign dignitaries, where she wished guests a 'successful, enjoyable and memorable Games'.