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August 8, 2008

2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony

Beijing held its formal opening ceremony today for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The ceremony, held in the National Stadium known as the Bird's Nest, was attended by thousands, and watched by millions more on television. Below are some highlights of the nearly 4-hour performance. (24 photos total)

A dancer performs during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Drummers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

An artist in a space suit performs during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Fireworks explode over the National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Stadium on August 8 in Beijing. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Artists perform during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at the National Stadium, also known as the "Bird's Nest", on August 8, 2008. The three-hour show at Beijing's iconic national stadium was set to see more than 15,000 performers showcase the nation's ancient history and its rise as a modern power. (AFP PHOTO / Olivier Morin)

Percussionists take part in the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Percussionists hit their Fou drums at the start of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. (AFP PHOTO / Joe Klamar )

Percussionists with their Fou drums stand prior to the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. (AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad)

Artists perform around an illuminated Globe during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Artists perform during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony on August 8, 2008 at the National Stadium in Beijing. Over 10,000 athletes from some 200 countries are going to compete in 38 differents disciplines during the event, between August 9 to 24. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

The Olympic rings are illuminated during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Artists underneath movable boxes perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Martial arts dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Lighted dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/David Phillip)

Drummers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Performers cheer during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Fireworks light the sky over the National Aquatics Center (L) and the National Stadium during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

An artist performs, suspended by wires during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Drummers perform during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

A musician performs during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony on August 8, 2008 at the National Stadium in Beijing. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Performers are pictured during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A dancer is silhouetted as she performs during the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics at the National Stadium on August 8, 2008 in Beijing. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Children of migrant workers from outlying provinces look at themselves in the mirror as they use their hands to form the Olympic Rings after watching the TV live broadcast of the Olympic Games opening ceremony at their quarters August 8, 2008 on the outskirts of Beijing. (Andrew Wong/Getty Images)

More links and information
Olympics Coverage - Boston.com
China strides onto Olympic stage - Boston.com 8/8
Protests occur worldwide as Beijing Olympics begin - Photo gallery, Boston.com 8/8
Official Site Beijing 2008 Games
2008 Olympics - NYT Topics page

 
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