London hosts grandiose Olympics opening ceremony

London hosts grandiose Olympics opening ceremony

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Queen has declared the London Olympics officially open, before seven young athletes were given the honor of lighting the ceremonial flame, BBC News reported.

The show featured British celebrities and sportspeople, including David Beckham and Bradley Wiggins, and screen characters Mr Bean and James Bond.

In a speech watched around the world, Games chief Jacques Rogge said: "The Olympic Games are coming home tonight."

Flag-bearer Sir Chris Hoy earlier led out Team GB to cheers and applause.

The identity of who was to light the symbolic flame was shrouded in secrecy ahead of the ceremony.

The group of seven, chosen by British Olympic champions, each lit a single tiny flame on the ground, igniting 205 petals, one for each competing nation or territory.

Long stems then rose towards each other to form a cauldron, signifying unity.

The flame made a dramatic arrival via the Thames on a speedboat carrying Beckham, who handed the torch to Sir Steve Redgrave.

The show, billed as a quirky take on UK life, started with iconic images of London and Britain being beamed to the world, and all four countries of the UK being represented in song.

The field at the stadium in Stratford, east London, was turned into a green meadow, with sheep, horses, chickens, ducks and geese among the cast.

The ceremony also celebrated the National Health Service by featuring a cast of more than 1,000 volunteers recruited from hospitals across the country, including Great Ormond Street children's hospital in London.

All the action was played out to a soundtrack of some of Britain's most iconic bands - including the Clash, the Rolling Stones, Queen, the Sex Pistols and David Bowie - with Sir Paul McCartney performing live at the show's close.

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