After seven years in the making, London's 468m super stadium opens its doors to the world
13:36 GMT, 3 August 2012
A wall of sound hit the athletes as they stepped out for the first day of competition at London's Olympic Stadium.
It was quite simply a full-on, no holds barred blast of cheering that came from the crowd at the packed 80,000-capacity venue, which spiked to a higher pitch whenever a British athlete stepped in to view.
Start the party: Young Team GB supporters cheer on their athletes on the first day of the track and field
Just amazing: The Olympics welcomed 80,000 fans into the stadium on Friday morning
The spectators inside the 468million venue were even cheering for Olympians competing in different sports at other venues.
The announcement that British rower Katherine Grainger, competing miles away at Eton Dorney in Windsor, had finally managed to win gold after three successive silver medals, produced one of the loudest and warmest receptions of the morning of the track and field programme.
The noise was so loud when heptathlete and Team GB poster girl Jessica Ennis, one of the first Britons to race on the track, appeared that you almost could not hear the announcement of the runners' names.
Filling up: Fans from around the world poured into the stadium on the opening day in Stratford
High and mighty: An aerial view of the Olympic Stadium, with the financial centre of Canary Wharf (right) in the background
Red hot: The Olympic Cauldron burns as athletes compete in the Women's 400m Heats
To be fair, it did not take much to trigger the rolling crescendo of applause. There was applause for all the introductions of the athletes over the loudspeakers as the track and field schedule picked its way through its first day and preliminary heats rounds.
It was just that there was definitely a higher volume whenever a Brit appeared on the big screen or began their event. On just about any other stage 19-year-old Katarina Johnson-Thompson, of Halewood, would have expected to go unnoticed by the British public as she stepped out on the track for the start of her debut Olympic heptathlon campaign. It did not happen.
The surprise late qualifier for London 2012 is competing in the shadow of Ennis, who is hotly-tipped for gold on home soil. Instead the beaming Johnson-Thompson seemed so stunned by the reception at her introduction that she clasped her face with her hands. It was as if it would help to control her broad smile and giggles triggered by the impact of the reception. The rain came down for a little while.
Scores on the board: The giant screen shows the latest stats from track and field
Stamp of approval: The Olympic rings form a huge part of the home straight on the track
The soundtrack that boomed across the stadium picked up Britain's ability to laugh at itself. Rihanna's Umbrella, Bob Marley's Sun is Shining and Shine by Take That all got an airing as it tipped down with rain.
The unlucky women's 400m runners had to contest their heats in 'challenging conditions,' the announcer noted. Then the sun came out once again on the impressive scene.
IAAF president Lamine Diack said: 'It was wonderful to arrive at the Olympic Games this morning and see a totally packed stadium for the first session of athletics. I do not remember the last time this happened and it shows the great affection Britain has for our sport. Locog (the London 2012 organisers) has done a great job and we are excited about the rest of the athletics programme, since the athletes will definitely be inspired by crowds like this.'