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Page last updated at 09:16 GMT, Monday, 22 December 2008

Sports Personality images of 2008
Olympics opening ceremony


Beijing '08 opens in spectacular fashion

The 2008 Olympic Games were launched at a dazzling ceremony in Beijing, as athletes from more than 200 countries gathered in the Bird's Nest stadium.

Drums, a light show and pyrotechnics began the four-hour ceremony with 29 sets of fireworks, representing each edition of the modern Games, lighting up Beijing.

Mark Foster led the British contingent into the arena, and 7ft 6in basketball star Yao Ming carried the Chinese flag.

Li Ning, 1984 gold medallist, lit the Olympic cauldron to close the ceremony.


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