Olympics opens with pomp and fanfare
KINGSTON, Jamaica — THE highly anticipated opening ceremony for the 30th Olympiad has ended. Spectacular and varied, the event brought to the world various aspects of rich British culture and history, from the Industrial Revolution, to Mary Poppins and contemporary comedian Mr Bean.
After much fanfare with dancers and actors, the 204 teams marched, customarily starting with Greece, where the very first Olympic Games was held.
Jamaica was the 94th country to enter the stadium, with double world record holder Usain Bolt leading the team, carrying the Jamaican flag.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Jamaican High Commissioner to London Aloun Assamba cheered from the stands as the 50 Jamaican athletes graced the track wearing uniforms designed by Cedella Marley.
The 80,000-seat Olympic stadium in Stratford, East London was alive and buzzing with excitement throughout the various displays of pageantry.
The three-hour ceremony was spiced up with performances from English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys and former Beatle Paul McCartney, spectacular fireworks and a beautiful display of 'human doves' under black lighting.
The International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge announced to the stadium that London has made history by being the only city to host the Olympics three times with all participating teams having female athletes.
The Olympic torch was delivered by football star David Beckham via speedboat down the Thames River and brought into the stadium by retired British rower and five-time gold medalist Steven Redgrave.
The torch was then handed over to groups of young athletes nominated by British Olympic champions.
Culminating the ceremony the Olympic cauldron was lit as even more grand fireworks followed enveloping the stadium.