The seven year countdown to the London Olympics will come to an end Friday night with a 3 hour opening ceremony at Olympic Stadium. The ceremony, created by Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle, will kick off at 9 p.m. London time (4 p.m. EDT.) In the United States, NBC will delay the broadcast until 7:30 p.m. EDT.
The ceremony will mark the official beginning of 17 days of athletic competitions in which 10,902 athletes from 204 countries will compete. While some athletes plan to rest before their games, the majority of them are expected to be on hand to walk in the Parade of Nations.
International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge told reporters the committee has "reviewed all the operational items, and I can say with pleasure that London is ready and we are eagerly waiting for the opening ceremony.”
Celebrations are already well underway. Earlier in the day, bells rang across the country and the Olympic torch embarked on the last portion of its journey to the stadium.
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