London welcomes the world for opening ceremony of Olympic Games
On Friday night, one of the biggest secrets in London will finally be revealed as nearly a billion people witness the extravaganza created by Danny Boyle, best known for the Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionare.” Friday morning in Great Britain began with bells ringing around the country, including London’s famous Big Ben, which sounded for three minutes. The Olympic torch, which has journeyed around the United Kingdom for 70 days, boarded the royal barge Gloriana. Rowers will propel the barge, which played a significant role in Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee celebrations, down the River Thames from Hampton Court to Tower Bridge.
According to the government, more than 13 million people lined the river’s banks to cheer the torch along its 8,000 mile journey. Olympic rower Mathew Pinsent, who will carry the flame on to the barge, said this was “a huge day for London.” The three-hour opening ceremony will begin at 9 p.m. local time (4 p.m. EST) with the tolling of the largest harmonically tuned bell in Europe.