EYES ON LONDON: Olympics begin

The Royal Air Force Red Arrows fly over Olympic Stadium before the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

LONDON (AP) -- Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:


A group of 10 Nigerians didn't let a few rain drops, or the fact that they didn't have tickets to the opening ceremony, dampen their spirits.

They laughed, danced, clapped their hands and sang songs near the entrance to Olympic Park.

They yelled in unison: "We represent Nigeria!"

- Jon Krawczynski - Twitter http://twitter.com/APkrawczynski


The first song, Jerusalem, is often used when England needs its own anthem. God Save The Queen is actually the British National Anthem. This is a real nod to England, but there's a lot of Irish, Welsh and Scottish imagery on show too.

- Fergus Bell - Twitter http://twitter.com/fergb


The Clash. The Sex Pistols. Lily Allen. Pink Floyd. London's Olympics open with a fast-moving montage of the UK that immediately summons the musical tradition of the past generation of British music. "God save the Queen," sing the Sex Pistols. The music moves on before the second line: "She ain't no human bein'."

- Ted Anthony - Twitter http://twitter.com/anthonyted


The 2012 London Olympic Games have begun.


The scene moments before the ceremony begins: The sheep and other animals are leaving. The cameras are still flashing. Around the stadium people in old-fashioned clothes are playing rugby. Besides football (as we call it here) rugby is one of the most popular team sports in Britain. And we invented it.

- Fergus Bell - Twitter http://twitter.com/fergb


Brits are a little stubborn by nature. The part of the proceedings labelled "Audience Training" where they are told what to do is interesting because they are really throwing themselves into the practice tasks they are being given.

They'll be controlling big bouncy balls thrown into the stands and passing large silk sheets over their heads.

The final word from the people giving instructions: "DO participate."

- Fergus Bell - Twitter http://twitter.com/fergb


Behind Olympic Stadium lies a staging area for some participants in the opening ceremony. They gather and hear an encouraging organizer yell through a megaphone: "Break a leg!"

Then they walk a bridge over the River Thames and into the stadium. It's quite a breathtaking entrance for the biggest show on the planet, and some just have to let out primal screams as they prepare for their big moment.

-Jon Krawczynski - Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APkrawczynski


The emcee in Olympic Stadium is cracking jokes about the weather: "We need the rain! It wouldn't be the London Olympics without rain!"

- Cassandra Vinograd - Twitter http://twitter.com/cassvinograd


It just had to happen. It's started to rain inside the Olympic Stadium

"Don't worry! Don't worry! It's only a little flat rain," said an organizer through a megaphone as a group of performers dressed as milk maids started to pick up the pace on the way inside.

- Jon Krawczynski - Twitter http://twitter.com/APkrawczynski


The animals have just come into the stadium. That is 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens and nine geese. One of those horses is a shire horse. The music is starting to build and there are camera flashes all around the stadium. What will the animals make of that?

- Fergus Bell - Twitter http://twitter.com/fergb


They've come from all over for these games and this opening ceremony. Fans seen filing into Olympic Stadium wearing the colors of Canada, Mexico, Poland, Italy, Russia, Germany, Brazil and seemingly all points in between.

That includes the most well-represented nation, of course: Team GB.

- Jon Krawczynski - Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APkrawczynski


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