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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 23:20 GMT 00:20 UK
Olympic Games opening ceremony
The Olympic Stadium in Athens at the beginning of the opening ceremony
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The majestic Olympic Stadium is a sea of camera flashes as the opening ceremony begins in front of an expectant crowd
Drummers' shadows reflect in the lake
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The rhythms of the Greek dance zeimbeiko are played by drummers on the shore of a lake at the stadium's centre
The five Olympic rings are gradually set alight
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The five Olympic rings in the middle of the lake are then set ablaze during a spectacular opening
The focus of the crowd falls onto a small Greek boy
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A small boy carrying a Greek flag enters the arena, smoothly gliding across the water on a paper boat
A cyclops and centaur are used to represent some of the tales of Greek legend
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A centaur throws a spear at a symbol from Cycladic art as Greek legends are re-enacted for the watching world
Young women dressed as classical Greek style pillars
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Women made of stone appear in what organisers hope will be an allegorical journey of the evolution of human consciousness
Organiser Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki (left) with Greek president Constantinos Stephanopoulos
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IOC president Jacques Rogge (right) joins the presidents of Greece and the organising committee during the show
Pyrros Dimas heads the procession of athletes from all around the world
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The 9,000 performers get a rousing reception before Greek weightlifter Pyrros Dimas leads the procession of athletes
Sydney silver medallist Kate Howey is Great Britain's flag bearer
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Judo player Kate Howey becomes the first woman flag bearer for Great Britain since Lucinda Prior-Palmer in 1984
Fans from around the world wave their national flags
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Flags from several nations are waved by the excited crowd, demonstrating the truly global appeal of the Olympics
A short firework display signifies the completion of the arrival of the athletes
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With all the competitors assembled on the field, fireworks roar from the arch that towers over the stadium
The Olympic flame burns brightly for all the stadium to see
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The Olympic flame is finally ignited by Greek yachtsman Nikolas Kaklamanakis to herald the start of the 28th Olympiad




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