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A history of opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games
As the world anxiously awaits the July 27 opening of the 2012 London Games, here is a look at the past Olympic ceremonies that amazed the crowds. 

AP1986OLYMPICS

April 6, 1896: A view of the audience at the opening of the first modern International Summer Olympic Games held at Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, Greece. 

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AP1908OLYMPICS

July 1, 1908: The commencement of the London Olympics Marathon at Windsor Castle, England. 

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AP1920OLY

August 26, 1920: This photo shows the US contingent leading the athletes in procession at the Antwerp Stadium in Belgium. 

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AP1924OLY

July 15, 1924: Athletes line up on the field and surround French athlete G. Andre while he takes the Olympic oath at Colombes Stadium, Paris, France. 

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AP1932OLYMPICS

July 30, 1932: Athletes march into the Olympic Stadium in Los Angeles, California. 

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AP1936OLYMPICS

1936: In this photo, Nazi leaders speak ahead of the opening ceremonies in Lustgarten in Berlin, Germany. 

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AP1948OLYMPICS

July 29, 1948: Jack Mark carries the Olympic torch during the opening ceremonies at Webley Stadium, in London. 

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AP1952OLY

July 19, 1952: This photo shows the crowd at the Olympic opening ceremony in Helsinki, Finland.  

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AP1956OLYMPICS

Nov. 22, 1956: Teams assemble in Melbourne Stadium for the opning ceremonies of the Summer Games in Melbourne, Australia. 

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AP1960OLYMPICS

Aug. 25, 1960: The East and West German team marches into the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy. 

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AP1964OLYMPICS

Oct. 10, 1964: Festivities at the opening ceremony of the Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. 

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AP1964OLYMPICS2

Oct. 10, 1964: The Summer Games kick off in Tokyo, Japan. 

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AP1968Olympics

1968: Athletes and spectators watch the release of balloons in Mexico City, Mexico. 

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AP1972OLYMPICS

Aug. 26, 1972: The opening ceremonies get under way in Munich, Germany. 

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AP1972OLYMPICS2

Aug. 26, 1972: Spectators and athletes enjoy the festivities at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany. 

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AP1976OLYMPICS

July 17, 1976: The scenes of the XXI Olympiad come alive in Montreal, Canada. 

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AP1980OLYMPICS

July 19, 1980: Performers take the field at the Olympic Games in Moscow.  

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AP1984OLYMPICS

1984: This photo shows five-foot high helium balloons being released by performers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California. 

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AP1988OLYMPICS

Sept. 17, 1988: The Olympic torch towers above Olympic stadium in Seoul. 

AP1992OLYMPICS2

July 25, 1992: Festivities are under way at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, Spain. 

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AP1996OLYMPICS

1996: US Olympians lead the athletes in to the opening ceremony of the Centennial Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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AP2000OLYMPICS

2000: Spectators fill the stands at the ceremonies of the 200 Summer Olympics in Sudney, Australia. 

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AP2000OLYMPICS2

2000: Australian runner Cathy Freeman stands under the Olympic torch after lighting the flame at the opening ceremonies in SydneyA, Australia.

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AP2004OLYMPICS

2004: Fireworks explode at the conclusion of the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. 

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AP2008OLYMPICS

2008: Performers stun the audience at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing. 

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A history of opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games

As the world anxiously awaits the July 27 opening of the 2012 London Games, here is a look at the past Olympic ceremonies that amazed the crowds. 

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