BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao declared open the 29th summer Olympic Games of Beijing in the National Stadium in north Beijing on Friday night.
Thundering cheers rocked the full-packed stadium, while splendid fireworks lit up the city skyline.
The exciting announcement came after a nearly-one-hour art performance highlighting China's 5,000-year civilization and modern achievements, and a 2.5-hour march-in of more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries and regions.
"Today, the Olympic flame lit in Olympia has come to the end of its odyssey and will be kindled to adorn the night sky of Beijing," said Liu Qi, president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 29th Olympic Games (BOCOG), in his speech.
"Hosting an Olympic Games has been a century-old dream for the Chinese nation. For seven years, ever since Beijing won its Olympic bid, the hearts of 1.3 billion Chinese people have been pulsating in unison with the Olympic Movement," he added.
In his speech, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge congratulated Beijing on its dream coming true tonight.
"For a long time, China has dreamed of opening its doors and inviting the world's athletes to Beijing for the Olympic Games," said Rogge.
"You have chosen as the theme of these Games 'One World, One Dream.' That is what we are tonight," he added.
"These Games belong to you. Let them be the athletes' Games," the IOC chief told the athletes.
He also thanked Beijing, the Games organizers and the "gracious volunteers," before inviting President Hu to declare open the Games.