Cauldron lit by young British athletes
Seven young athletes representing Britain's hopes for the future lit the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony of the London Games.
British Olympic hero Steve Redgrave carried the torch into the stadium - its final stop after a journey around the country. The five-time rowing gold medalist handed it off to the teenagers, who ignited copper ''petals'' on the ground.
The fire spread in a circle and the petals converged to form a large cauldron in the sky.
The director of the opening ceremony, Danny Boyle, sprang another giant surprise in giving seven teenage athletes the supreme honor of igniting the Olympic flame. Together, they touched torches to trumpetlike tubes that spread into a ring of fire and then rose elegantly to jointly form the cauldron - which organizers said would be moved Sunday night to one end of the stadium.
It was the end of the journey for the flame. Some 8,000 torchbearers, mostly unheralded Britons, had carried it on a 70-day, 8,000-mile journey from toe to tip of the British Isles, whipping up enthusiasm for a $14 billion Olympics taking place during a severe recession. The final torchbearers were kept a closely guarded secret - remarkable given the scrutiny on these, the first Summer Games of the Twitter era.