and amazed by the sheer beauty and power of the people. Props to Zhang Yimou for the dramatic visuals. Especially the opening countdown to 8:08:08. Watched this live – it ended 9:08am pst. The precision is truly impressive.

It was impressive that they incorporated so much symbolism, history and culture seamlessly.

And yet it was so consciously worldly.

And the Chinese athletes enter at exactly 11:08:08, lead by Yao Ming accompanied by a little boy who is a Sichuan earthquake survivor.

I felt so blessed to be able to witness this historic and grand with 4 billion people around the world at the same time. Also that I live in Canada as CBC had the full 4 hour broadcast in real time, unlike NBC who had it hours later. Proud to be Canadian? Yes. Proud to be Chinese? Even more so.

Photos from Time Magazine.