Beijing Olympics opening ceremony underway

Beijing - The opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics got underway with a fireworks display on Friday night, setting the stage for a three-hour extravaganza.

The 91,000-strong crowd in the National Stadium was due to be treated to a trip through Chinese history and culture with around 20,000 performers on a hot and sticky night.

The parade of a record 204 nations alone was due to last 1:50 hours in front of almost 90 state leaders featuring among others Chinese President Hu Jintao, US President Goerge W Bush and Russian Premier Vladimir Putin.

Hu was due to officially open the Games with the traditional formula: "I declare open the Games of Beijing celebrating the XXIX Olympiad of the modern era."

Grand opening ceremony marks start of Beijing Olympics

ChinaBeijing, Aug. 8: China today opened its gates to culture, life and the world of sports at a hugely colourful and gala extravaganza of 24th Olympics inaugration here on Friday evening.

About 15,000 artists participated in the grand inaugural ceremony, which left spectators and dignitaries awestruck and mesmerized.

The 17-day Beijing Olympics will witness sportspersons from 205 nations competing for glory and medals. About 302 Gold Medals are up for grabs at the event.

Distinguished personalities representing 80 countries have attended the ceremony.

Overcast but favourable weather for Olympics’ opening ceremony

Beijing, Aug 7 : A spokesman of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has said that the weather at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony will mainly be overcast but favourable.

Yu Xinwen said that they are expecting a brief shower on Friday afternoon, but the temperature would be between 25 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius.

One of the highlights of the 16-day Games, the opening ceremony will be broadcast world-wide and will see more than 100,000 athletes, performers and spectators attending the ceremony in the National Stadium, or "Bird''s Nest.”

Bolt hoping for double; officials hoping for good weather

Beijing - Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt will go for a sprint double at the Beijing Games in a boost for Olympic athletics, it was confirmed on Sunday.

There was less good news for organizers as they were warned that rain could dampen Friday's proposed opening ceremony, while typhoons could cause a postponement of the equestrian and sailing events.

Zhang Qiang, the deputy director of the Beijing Weather Modification Office, said she expected rainfall over Beijing during the Games to be slightly more than normal.

"The temperature will also be slightly higher," she said.

This day in Olympic history - August 4

Beijing - This day in Olympic history - August 4

August 4

Ancient Olympics spirit worked on ‘winning is everything’ philosophy

Washington, June 29 : Ancient Olympics ideals differ dramatically from the way the games are played today, says a University of Maryland classicist who has researched the Olympic past heavily.