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Olympic Opening Ceremony spectacular sets the bar Saturday,August 9th 2008
 

The four-hour opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics came to a spectacular conclusion today when Li Ning, the former China gymnast, was hoisted to the roof of the Bird's Nest Stadium to light a giant Olympic flame.

The torch's journey to Beijing had been highly controversial, with demonstrations in London and other cities over China's human rights record in Tibet, but there were no disruptions to a stunning visual show which, if nothing else, has raised the bar dauntingly high for the organisers of London 2012.

The pounding drums of 2008 People's Liberation Army soldiers had signalled the start of a ceremony which captured all the messianic ambition and no expense-spared scale of China's first Games.

 
 
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