The Olympics returned to their spiritual home in Greece after a 108-year absence.
And the hosts did not disappoint, with flaming Olympic rings on the stadium floor, an elaborate, balletic journey through Greece's rich and varied history and more fireworks than were probably necessary.
There were none of the controversies that previous ceremonies had experienced and at three hours, it did not feel overly long.
The flame was lit by Greek windsurfer Nikolaos Kaklamanakis who won Olympic gold at the 1996 Olympics.
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