The honor of lighting the Olympic Cauldron at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games on Friday went to a group of young athletes nominated by British Olympic champions. While most thought rower Steven Redgrave (who carried the torch into the stadium), famed mile-runner Roger Bannister, Queen Elizabeth III or noted soccer enthusiast David Beckham were set to light the torch, organizers went a different direction. And it was actually pretty incredible to watch.
Here's the cauldron, which consists of 204 individual petals representing each competing nation. Now let's all be amazed:
Trippy as heck, right?
The 2012 London Summer Olympics opening ceremony was an outright success (or so I heard through perfectly legitimate sources), filled with frippery and cameos from all of your favorite adorable British celebrities. The torch was lit following the parade of athletes with their respective nations.
With the lighting of the cauldron, the games have now officially begun. You can catch medal events in archery, cycling, fencing, judo, shooting, swimming and weightlifting on Saturday. The games will run through the closing ceremony on Aug. 12.
For more on the Olympics, visit our dedicated 2012 London Olympics hub.