London Olympics opening ceremony hours away
text: Kazinform , exclusively for Gazeta.kz
The opening ceremony of the London Olympics is just hours away after seven years of preparations.
The three-hour spectacle in the Olympic Stadium will be viewed by a global TV audience of around a billion people.
The day of celebration began at 08:12 BST with a mass bell ringing. Big Ben rang for three minutes for the first time since King George VI's funeral.
Lord's cricket ground has turned away spectators trying to get in to watch archery amid confusion over ticketing.
The London 2012 website advertised the event's preliminary rounds as "unticketed", which some members of the public interpreted as open to the public.
But Olympic organiser Locog said it had not advertised or sold tickets for the ranking event and had always made it clear preliminary rounds were not open to spectators, Kazinform has learnt from BBC News.
'Blur or Beefeaters?'
Meanwhile, the Olympic flame is heading along the Thames on the Queen's rowbarge Gloriana on the final day of the torch relay.
It wove through the famous maze at Hampton Court Palace before setting out along the Thames.
The relay ends late in the evening with the lighting of the cauldron during the opening ceremony but the identity of the person who will take on the honour remains a mystery.
In other developments:
American First Lady Michelle Obama, who is in London to lead the US delegation, told the US Olympic team at their Docklands training camp "have fun, breathe a bit, but also
London taxi drivers who were to protest at Hyde Park Corner over their ban from using Olympic traffic lanes have been banned by the Metropolitan Police
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge praised the regeneration which has taken place in east London and said the Games would have a "tangible legacy" with, uniquely, "no white elephants"
The mayor of London has hit out at US presidential candidate Mitt Romney for comments suggesting Britain is not ready to stage the Olympic Games
Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain was ready to welcome "the greatest show on earth".
Speaking in Downing Street, he said: "It's a great opportunity to show the world the best of Britain, a country that's got an incredibly rich past but also a very exciting future.
"Someone asked me yesterday what face of Britain do we want to put forward - is it Blur or the Beefeaters? - and frankly it's both."
The chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, Dennis Hone, said he was thrilled the big day was finally here.
He told BBC Radio 5 live: "When you look around at the park, you look at the venues, the 100 hectares of landscaping, the 2,000 trees, all the plants in bloom, it's looking fantastic. It's going to be a great day, it's going to be a great 17 days of sport."
London's mayor told the programme: "What's so amazing is just the wave of excitement seems to pass from person to person like some benign form of contagion. Everybody is getting it."
Organisers of Oscar-winner Danny Boyle's opening ceremony have released a video clip giving a sneak preview, featuring groups in colourful stage outfits dancing to Tiger Feet by 1970s rock group Mud and cyclists with wings pedalling along to Come Together by the Beatles.
Europe's largest bell will ring inside the Olympic stadium at 21:00 BST at the start of the £27m extravaganza, featuring a cast of 10,000 volunteers and said to be a quirky take on British life.
Some 15,000 square metres of staging and 12,956 props will be used, and the event will boast a million-watt PA system using more than 500 speakers.
The crowd of about 80,000 will include the Queen and a host of dignitaries and celebrities.
As late as Thursday night, Games organisers said that the ceremony had not sold out and tickets in the two highest price categories - costing £2,012 and £1,600 - were still available.
The Queen and Prince Philip will host a Buckingham Palace reception for heads of state and government and an opening ceremony celebration concert featuring Snow Patrol, Stereophonics, Duran Duran and Paolo Nutini will be held in Hyde Park.
More than 10,000 athletes from 204 nations will take part in the London Olympics. Some £9bn of public money has been spent on staging the Games.
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09.01.2013 2012 marked by multiple events in Kazakhstan