As far as most people are concerned, the 2012 London Olympics officially begin on Friday with the highly-anticipated Opening Ceremony helmed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle. That some of the events have already taken place (including a thrilling comeback by the U.S. women's soccer team) won't detract from the "Isles Of Wonder"spectacle unfolding at the Olympic Stadium in London.
With its elaborate -- and somewhat still secret -- production, the 2012 Opening Ceremony will aim to produce moments as memorable as Muhammad Ali's inspiring torch lighting in Atlanta and the breathtaking long-range, pyrotechnic archery of Barcelona.
Stay tuned for live updates, commentary, images and video from the real-time rendition of the spectacle in London all the way through the televised version that airs later on NBC in the United States.
For those waiting for the stateside primetime broadcast, be warned there will be spoilers below.
Not one but TWICE, the Olympics Opening Ceremony has come and gone. Wow. What was your favorite part? Paul McCartney? Bond and the Queen? The Parade Of Nations?
|@ thegoalkeeper : Still no mention by NBC of the fact that David Beckham plays in a league for which it owns broadcast rights.|
David Beckham arrives on a boat, like a boss, to pass along the Olympic flame to Sir Redgrave, who carries the torch into the Olympic Stadium. The cauldron will be lit shortly.
Here's a brief clip of Muhammad Ali's appearance late during the Opening Ceremony
|@ TVGuide : With a few words from the Queen (and a bunch of fireworks) the London games are now open #openingceremony|
Coe is former Olympian with four medals (two gold, two silver on his resume). He would later become a member of Parliament.
Without the most natural delivery Sebastian Coe delivers a solid speech. He's pretty psyched about how this is going down.
"I have never been so proud to be British."
It certainly seems like that's what Danny Boyle is going for tonight. He got Coe.
|@ DesmondHoward : Are the Arctic Monkeys performing Michael Jackson's version of 'Come Together'?|
The Arctic Monkeys' cover of "Come Together is aired with some impressive choreographed bicycle riding. NBC cut "I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor." The banter between Costas and Lauer suggests Bob digs it.
|@ HPbasketball : Stolen our most valued cultural element. The Godzilla Sountrack. RT @seangentille: Is this a different version of Heroes by The Wallflowrs?|
|@ bubbaprog : It took 2:20 for the U.S. team to enter the stadium. On NBC's feed, it took more than 3 minutes.|
Greeted by the loudest roar of the night, the Great Britain team has arrived. David Bowie's "Heroes" is playing. Confetti is falling. Cyclist Chris Hoy is leading the way.
With the Venezuelan delegation taking its moment in the NBC spotlight, Matt Lauer celebrates the country's rich baseball tradition. Of course, none of these athletes are here to play baseball as that is no longer an Olympic sport.
|@ mattufford : Kobe Bryant: only American athlete who looks good in the beret.|
|@ ConanOBrien : Watching London’s opening ceremonies. Hard to believe my ancestors were conquered by theirs.|
I'll take things that Bob Costas says during Olympics Opening Ceremony for 0, Alex.