FAQ Follow On:Twitter Google+ Facebook Tumblr subscribe by RSS or Email

London 2012: The Opening Ceremony

|

Last night the 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off with a huge Opening Ceremony in London's new Olympic Stadium, an event watched on television by an estimated 1 billion viewers. Performances paid tribute to British heritage and culture, from agrarian beginnings through pop culture successes like the Beatles and J.K. Rowling. Contingents from more than 200 nations marched in the athletes parade, and the evening was capped off by the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron, a performance by Paul McCartney, and a huge fireworks display. Collected below is just a glimpse of last night's ceremony, as the 2012 Olympics are now underway. [44 photos]

Use j/k keys or ←/→ to navigate  Choose:
The Olympic cauldron is lit during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
The Olympic cauldron is lit during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Sheeting is extended across the audience during the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, on July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) #
Actors portraying the Queen of England and James Bond arrive via parachute after jumping from a helicopter during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Murad Sezer) #
Kenneth Branagh dressed as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Britain's most revered engineer recites Caliban's speech from Shakespeare's The Tempest at London's Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/David Gray) #
An actor scales a representation of a chimney during an enactment of the Industrial Revolution at the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, on July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #
Newly "forged" Olympic rings light up the stadium in London, on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) #
Britain's David Beckham (center) drives a powerboat with the Olympic torch as fireworks are launched over Tower Bridge during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Eddie Keogh) #
Young actors perform as children haunted by creatures from British storybooks in London's Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) #
A giant marionette of Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter books makes an appearance in the Opening Ceremony, on July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #
Actors perform in a sequence meant to represent Britain's National Health Service (NHS), on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
Performers dressed as the character Mary Poppins descend to the ground in the Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Mike Blake) #
Union Flags, commonly known as the Union Jack, are projected on the Palace of Westminster next to Big Ben on the bank of the River Thames, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Sergio Perez) #
Actor Rowan Atkinson, known for his character Mr. Bean, performs in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
Artists dance during a medley of British pop songs through the years, in London, on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/ Ezra Shaw) #
Artists wear jetpacks during the Opening Ceremony in London, on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) #
A live tweet from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, appears in the crowd in Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #
Fireworks on display at Tower Bridge on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Julian Finney/Getty Images) #
Dancers perform during a rendition of the Hymn "Abide With Me", a memorial performance for "loved ones who could not be with us", and a tribute to the victims of the 7/7 terror attacks in London in 2005, on July 27, 2012. (Paul Gilham/Getty Images) #
Britain's Queen Elizabeth (center), her husband Prince Philip (center right) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge (center left) applaud during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Reuters/Toby Melville) #
Britain's flag bearer Chris Hoy holds the national flag as he leads the contingent in the athletes parade in the Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters) #
People watch the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at a pub in London, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Sergio Moraes) #
China's flag bearer Yi Jianlian holds the national flag as he leads the contingent who carry both Chinese and British flags, in the athletes parade, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Mike Blake) #
Two members of the Montenegro delegation photograph themselves as they parade in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on July 27, 2012. (Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images) #
Members of Canada's contingent in the athletes parade in the Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Jorge Silva) #
Members of Australia's contingent show off messages written on their hands during the athletes parade, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
Flag bearer Mariel Zagunis of the U.S. holds the national flag as she leads the contingent in the athletes parade, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Mike Blake) #
Sarah Attar and Wojdan Shahrkhani (background), the first female Saudis to ever compete in the Olympics, part of Saudi Arabia's contingent, take part in the athletes parade in the Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett) #
Fireworks illuminate the sky over the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images) #
Spectators are illuminated during the Opening Ceremony, on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Cameron Spencer) #
An actor performs during "Bike a.m", part of the Opening Ceremony in London, on July 27, 2012. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images) #
A wide-angle view of the Olympic stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski) #
Muhammad Ali (center) participates in the Opening Ceremony, on July 27, 2012 in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) #
The final torch bearers walk through the Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
The final seven torchbearers light the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremony, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters) #
Arms of the Olympic Cauldron rise after being lit, opening the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) #
After the separate lit torches rose together, forming the cauldron, the 2012 Olympic Flame burns brightly, on July 27, 2012. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) #
Fireworks explode over the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27, 2012. (Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images) #
Fireworks light up the Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) #
Fireworks illuminate the sky over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, on July 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) #
A fisheye lens view of fireworks exploding after the Olympic cauldron was lit during the Opening Ceremony in London, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
Spectators wave Union Jacks in the Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Mike Segar) #
Sir Paul McCartney performs "Hey Jude" and "The End" in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on July 27, 2012. (Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) #
Participants gathered around the Olympic Cauldron in the Olympic Stadium, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Murad Sezer) #
A couple embraces after the Olympic Flame was lit during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on July 27, 2012. (Reuters/Max Rossi) #

Related links and information

Previous gallery | Next gallery | View All Back to top

Recent Entries

Join the Discussion

blog comments powered by Disqus

On Newsstands Now

Subscribe and SAVE 65%
10 issues JUST $2.45/COPY