The opening ceremony is over, and the Beijing Olympics have officially begun following an impressive display of dance, music and pyrotechnics. Chinese President Hu Jintao declared the games officially open as retired gymnast Li Ning lit the Olympic flame.
Some 91,000 were in the stands at National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest. About 15,000 others performed in an impressive spectacle the Chinese hope will take the spotlight off the city's smog and the country's human rights policies.
President Bush and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin were among the scores of world leaders who witnessed what is depicted as the largest, costliest extravaganza in Olympic history. Bush gave a motivational talk to U.S. athletes who are trying to uphold the country's recent Olympic dominance. He's the first sitting U.S. president to attend an Olympics on foreign soil.
The Olympics began earlier this week with men's and women's soccer. Swimming takes center stage tomorrow.
Outside the Olympic venues, police tightened security in a Muslim region (Xinjiang) after an Islamic group seeking independence for the area threatened to attack buses, trains and planes during the Games. The region's capital was on high alert with security guards checking bags at the entrances of hotels, department stores and discos following the threat.
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