Olympic Games begin


(Image: Beijing Olympics website)

The Beijing Olympic Games have begun -- they started with a spectacular opening ceremony in the now famous "Birds Nest" stadium. The ceremony went off without a hitch. There was an expression of Chinese national pride, underscored at one point by the notes of the Chinese national anthem.

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China presented a dramatic display of fireworks, music and dancing -- some 10,000 performers took part in the ceremony, watched on TV by an estimated one billion people.

Dozens of heads of state were in the stand, including President Bush. They cheered and waved as athletes from across the globe paraded into the stadium.

More than 90,000 spectators were on hand for the most expensive and elaborate opening ceremony ever, and in the end, fireworks lit up the night sky.

"The World" gets a first-hand account of the ceremony from the BBC's Tom Fordyce, who was there for the entire four hour extravaganza inside the Birds Nest stadium in Beijing.

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. More "The World."