André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
A life-sized classic English cottage with smoking chimney, rolling hills and a watermill - and, oh, not to mention a number of sheep, cows and goats and a game of cricket.
London's Olympic Stadium was an ever-changing
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, read from Peter Pan, while Beatles legend Paul McCartney brought down the house to a spark of colourful fireworks and smiling spectators and athletes. London outdid itself.
London welcomed the world in fine style last night, and as soon as Her Majesty had declared the Games open, it already was being discussed as one the best Olympic Games opening ceremonies ever.Triple world-record holder and Olympic champion Usain Bolt led the Jamaican contingent into the stadium to rapturous applause, as the sprinting megastar waved the Jamaican flag enthusiastically.
The early setting - a traditional British meadow with farmers tilling the soil and sports being played along the greens - started an emotionally convincing yet wittingly ingenious three and a half hours of celebration of Britain's history, people and culture.
London's Olympic Stadium will, over the next few days, host some of the world's fiercest track and field competitors, but last night, over 80,000 people packed the venue to witness the creation of noted British film director Danny Boyle.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge praised England's influence on the modernisation of sport and said the Olympics is heading home, considering that London is now the only city to host the Games three times.
"In a sense, the Olympic Games are coming home," Rogge said. "This great sport-loving country is widely recognised as the birthplace of modern sport. It was here that the concept of sportsmanship and fair play were first codified into clear rules and regulations."