Fireworks over Olympic stadium

Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Raising the curtain

Fireworks ignite above the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony on July 27 for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Millions of people around the globe gathered to watch the whimsical opening show directed by Danny Boyle, the English film director and producer behind "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Trainspotting."

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A child performs a somersault

Photo: Christophe Simone/AFP/Getty Images

'Second Star to the Right'

A child performs a somersault off the frame of trampoline hospital bed during a scene in "Isles of Wonders" honoring British children's literature and the National Health System.

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Mr. Bean played by Rowan Atkinson

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

A familiar face

Mr. Bean, played by British actor Rowan Atkinson, pretends to take a photo of himself as he horses around during a symphony performance of "Chariots of Fire" during the opening ceremony. The classic British film, made in 1981, tells the story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics.

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Olympic rings are lit and lifted into the air

Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Olympic heritage

Rings representing the Olympic tradition and Great Britain's gritty industrial history are lit and lifted during the "Isles of Wonders" opening.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.