Olympic Opening Ceremony Wows Audience
Created: 2012-07-30 10:51 EST
The opening ceremony marking the start of the London Olympics received a rousing reception from an enthusiastic live audience on Friday.
An audience of 60,000 in the Olympic Stadium and a probable billion television viewers around the globe watched a touching finale to a high-octane, musical celebration of British history and culture.
Directed by film director Danny Boyle, the ceremony was a dizzying event designed to highlight the grandeur and eccentricities of the nation that invented modern sport.
Children's voices ushered in an exuberant historical pageant of meadows, smokestacks and digital wizardry before seven teenage athletes were given the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron that will burn for the duration of the Games.
Among the performers was Amy Webster.
[Amy Webster, Opening Ceremony Performer]:
"Everyone was cheering. We were singing along so that we could hear the whole thing going on in our ears. We were counting along with everyone, singing, dancing, it was amazing. They loved it, yeah, they did love it. You could hear they loved it.”
Others said Queen Elizabeth's performance was the highlight of the show.
The monarch appeared in a short, tongue-in-cheek film also starring Daniel Craig in his role as James Bond, who enters Buckingham Palace.
Doubles of Bond and the queen then parachuted from a helicopter above the stadium.
[Unknown British Man]:
"My favourite bit was when the queen fell out of the helicopter but missed the stadium. That was amazing, amazing. Incredible show.”
International visitors were equally delighted, some overcome with emotion.
[Roberto Cartainalli, Brazil Fan]:
"Lovely, remarkable. I cried a lot. And it was just the way I was expecting.”
[Emma Cullis, American Fan]:
"Absolutely, I think they have done a really good job. I know they have been preparing for it. I am actually half British, half American, so I know they have been preparing for it for a long time and I think they did a great job.”
[Mexico Fan Leaving Opening Ceremony]:
"I loved it, fascinating, fantastic.. Number one logistically, excellent.”
Others gave a thumbs-up to an appearance by former boxer Muhammad Ali.
[Roland, British Man Leaving Opening Ceremony]:
"My favourite part.. Muhammad Ali, good to see Muhammad Ali. It was quite odd. Arctic Monkeys as well playing was really good. I liked that. And free tickets as well. Danny Boyle did a good job, I think, definitely.”
Some Britons were clearly proud of the moment.
[Richard, British Man]:
"Superb. Really enjoyed it. Top of the world. Well worth it. Once in a lifetime.”
"Everything. Everything. That's where I have just been, great. The Olympic rings -- when they were making the Olympic rings.”
More than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries will compete in 26 sports over 17 days of competition in the only city to have staged the modern Games three times.