LONDON (CBS) – The 2012 London Olympic Games have officially arrived, and boy, did they make quite the entrance.

At exactly 8:12 a.m. Friday morning, Big Ben rang out for three straight minutes, ringing in (literally) the opening day of the Games. All The Bells, an event organized by the London 2012 Festival commission, brought together thousands of Brits from across the nation to join in on the ringing, no matter where their location. No bell? No problem! There was a smartphone app for that!

Read: WBZ London Eye Blog

The last leg of the torch relay involved a flotilla pageant up the River Thames, as the Olympic flame floated up the river toward Olympic Park, it’s final destination.

In the evening, those locals and tourists alike without tickets to the opening ceremonies (or a spare $2,000 to front the cost of one) flocked to the city’s parks and pubs to catch screenings of film director Danny Boyle’s spectacle, “Isles of Wonder.”

More: Olympics Coverage From London

In iconic Trafalgar Square, thousands gathered to cheer as the official Olympic countdown clock ticked away the minutes, and then seconds, until the official start of the games. Many brought flags and banners from their home nations. A woman in Union Jack footie pajamas was even part of the fray. There may have been a few bouts of rain, but even that couldn’t dampen the crowd’s spirits.

The WBZ London Eye team was there to capture the emotion and excitement as the countdown struck zero.

Keesa McKoy, Victoria Price and Matthew Reed are students at Boston University, spending their summer internships reporting from the London Olympics for CBS Boston.


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