Nightly News   |  July 27, 2012

Excitement builds in London

All across the city, people were full of national pride for the countdown to the Opening Ceremony, with 80,000 spectators heading to the Olympic Stadium to be dazzled. NBC’s Chris Jansing reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> good evening. it's all under way here in london tonight . this massive global event kicking off in spectacular style as our viewers in the u.s. are about to see. what we can show you concerning what's already transpired, the interesting choice of the same front page photos by the newspapers here, part of the pyro technics show in the stadium tonight. we can show you this much. the broadcast features an unusual james bond moment and a first for the queen of england who let's just say makes a rather dramatic entrance. now, tomorrow in the light of day , londoners will wake up in full olympics mode. tonight an estimated 1 billion people will watch these games kick off. a spectacular global show followed by the parade of nations. nbc's chris jansing is in the olympic village tonight to start things off for us tonight. chris, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening you to, brian. the long wait is finally over. athletes from 240 nations are here to compete for 906 medals including more than 500 athletes from team usa . i just saw them walking into the stadium as i was coming over here. and out on the streets of london today the excitement was palatable. big ben rang in the big day in london . and from villages and cities, church towers and town halls, even as bells shattered from the excitement, there were sounds of unadulterated joy. from cheers for the torch making its way along the river thames to delighted children playing with first soccer mom michelle obama and superstar david beckham to excited cheerleaders.

>> london rock the house out there.

>> reporter: and in the house called buckingham palace v.i.p.s mingled with her majesty, queen elizabeth . her great grandfather and father had opened previous summer games .

>> i will take pleasure in declaring open the 2012 london olympic games .

>> reporter: even the first competition of the day had a smile inducing story line . a legally blind archer for south korea set a world record . suddenly, a country known for a disposition as gloomy as its weather seemed ready to burst with national pride . and the anticipation just kept building. here at trafalgar square the countdown to the opening ceremony is on literally. people have been coming to get their picture taken with the clock and big screen tvs are being set up across london so people can come together to watch the opening ceremonies . including here in hyde park where crowds arrived early.

>> my mom is actually dancing in the opening ceremony .

>> reporter: and you can't go?

>> no. i saw it on wednesday. i can't give you any secrets.

>> reporter: and? come on. a little one?

>> it's a surprise.

>> reporter: even keeping the details of the ceremony secret except what we saw in this video from rehearsal became a point of pride. beijing's opening was so spectacular britain worried, could oscar winning director danny boyle who lived in east london top it?

>> you know, you can't compare in an obvious way to beijing. you have to try and think differently about it and be part of the spirit of it. be optimistic as well.

>> reporter: and the 80,000 spirited spectators heading to the olympic stadium were ready to be dancing. as early images emerged, we get a glimpse of the show royals called isles of wonder inspired by shakespeare's "the tempest." the bard once wrote, "all the world's a stage" but tonight the spotlight shines brightly on london . since this is the first of the games, they've been tweeting. the men's gymnastics team put this out. the women's basketball team sent a picture and the reviews are in from regular folks inside the stadium. one says danny boyle will get a knighthood. another, the opening ceremony has been amazing. and more than a few, brian, let the games begin.

>> well, chris, we are so happy for this host city that as you point out the weather has held at least so far. chris jansing over the olympic village tonight.