Spectacular Photos from the London 2012 Opening Ceremony

Richard Mackson / USA Today

If you’re one of the billion people who watched the Opening Ceremony of the XXX Olympiad, you probably saw a ceremony that was a feast for the senses. From whiskered men to Queen Elizabeth literally dropping in with James Bond (aka Daniel Craig), it was a spectacular show. Oh, and Sir Paul McCartney performed, too.

One of the most poignant moments, we thought, was the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, made up of more than 200 copper petals which were carried in with each team during the Parade of Nations. The petals were ignited by seven British teenagers, and they collectively rose up to form the Olympic cauldron. Then the fireworks started. It was an incredible display.

We took to the web this morning to find the best photos from yesterday’s Opening Ceremony, both from professional photogs and people just like you. Here’s what we came up with.