The highly anticipated Opening Ceremony began with an imagined trip along London's iconic river, the Thames, from its source in Gloucestershire to the Olympic Stadium in east London.
Also during the Ceremony, the Olympic Flame made its way along the Thames in a boat piloted by David Beckham.
At the heart of the Opening Ceremony is the Athletes' Parade where teams enter the Stadium in alphabetical order, with Team GB concluding the Parade.
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But while the rest of the world was watching the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games, many Americans were left in the dark. Viewers on the West Coast were not allowed to watch the ceremonies until long after the day ended in London.
The Associated Press reported Friday that NBC was criticized, once again this year, for failing to stream the opening ceremonies online.
NBC Universal announced it would stream live every athletic competition from this year's games but had never intended to show the opening and closing ceremonies except on tape delay.
AP quoted NBC Sports spokesman Christopher McCloskey as saying the ceremonies "are complex entertainment spectacles that do not translate well online because they require context, which our award-winning production team will provide for the large prime-time audiences that gather together to watch them."
Twitter was aflutter with complaints regarding the situation and provided links for the BBC live broadcast of the event.
Piers Morgan, a popular host on CNN, tweeted details about the ceremony, including this tweet: "Laughable that America is yet to start watching the Olympic ceremony on TV. Seriously."
In 2008, NBC also waited to broadcast the opening ceremonies in Beijing amid complaints, although the buzz from China helped create a television audience of 34.9 million people, the largest opening ceremony audience in 12 years.
The countdown to the start of the Ceremony was marked by 96 children standing around the Stadium with popping balloons, followed by the Olympic Bell ringing in the official start of the Opening Ceremony.