Olympic Opening Ceremonies have always been over-the-top affairs combining theatrics and pyrotechnics with intricate choreographies, but China has out done them all. From the architectural works down to the masses of never-ending dancers and cheerleaders, China has proclaimed its right to host these games and after today nobody can deny it.
While accusations of human rights abuses and government information control still haunt the games, China commanded the attention of the world and demanded respect. "BE IMPRESSED" that was the message, "BE VERY IMPRESSED".
And the people were impressed, down to the staff preparing the London 2012 Olympics who gathered themselves to watch how high the bar has been set.
The London 2012 Blog recounts of the staff's reactions "...everyone was spellbound by an amazing show."
Now the London organizers must figure out how, within the next four years, they are going to top China's incredible efforts.
Check out more of our Olympics 2008 Coverage.