The XXX Summer Olympics Games have officially started in London with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, the parade of nations and a touching opening ceremony.
Oscar winning director Danny Boyle was in charge of creating the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and the 5-hour broadcast was full of british history, icons, songs, and of course the Royal Family and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. It was actually the Queen who had the most grand entrance of the night, on the arm (and a Union Jack parachute) of 007 himself James Bond (played by Daniel Craig).
After taking us through different aspects of British history that included the likes of Kenneth Branagh, Rowan Atkinson, and J.K. Rowling, the games welcome the parade of nations that as tradition stars with Greece, then goes alphabetical ending with the host country.
Soccer star David Beckham then passed the Olympic torch to five time consecutive medalist and former rower for Great Britain Steve Redgrave, who in a surprise twist handed the torch to seven young athletes that were hand-picked by seven great British Olympians to carry the flame around the stadium. As a group they then lit the copper petals that formed the cauldron with the Olympic fire while songs by Pink Floyd played out.
The Queen officially opened the games saying “I declare open the Games of London,” followed by a fireworks display and a performance of “Hey Jude” by Sir Paul McCartney.
The London 2012 Olympics continue tomorrow with the men’s 400 meter IM swimming competition, and the men’s gymnastics qualifying event.
You can see full photos from the Opening Ceremony below and tune into NBC.com for exclusive Olympic Games coverage.