Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympics opening ceremony: As it unfolded

Jesse Campigotto writes:
After years of seemingly endless talk about air quality, press freedoms and human rights records, it's finally time: the 2008 Beijing Olympics are underway. Well, sort of. Before the fun and Games begin, there's the small matter of the opening ceremony. Many will find this decadent three-hour-plus spectacle enlightening and exhilarating. Others may long for the endless talk about air, the press and human rights. Either way, you can follow the entire spectacle from Beijing's National Stadium right here with our live blog of the opening ceremony. On with the show:

12:10 p.m. ET: Well, the potential Greatest Olympics Of All Time are off to a fine start. The opening ceremony clocked in at just over four hours, but went off pretty much without a hitch, with some dazzling theatrics to boot. Here's hoping we're in for more of the same over the next 16 days. Let the Games begin!

12:04 p.m. ET: Li lights the cauldron, which peeks over the top of the stadium. We're then treated to, and I'll try not to overstate this, the greatest fireworks display in the history of the world. It looks like they're setting them off from all over the Olympic Green.

12:01 p.m. ET: Li takes the torch and is promptly hoisted by cable to the top of the stadium, drawing gasps from the packed house. Now they've got the cable moving horizontally across the lip of the stadium, in front of an animated backdrop of an unrolling scroll. As Li moves right-to-left, a collage

Read more of Jesse's live blogging of the opening ceremony here.