The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics will be broadcast on NBC Friday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Let's take a quick tour of the web and the history of this kick-off event to the Olympics.
The first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 1896 had a ceremony before the athletic competition began. However, the first recognized official opening ceremony took place at the 1908 Summer Games, also held in London. It included the first parade of nations and their athletes, notes Yahoo Sports.
Check out the SI.com gallery which shows images from both the 1896 and 1908 Olympic openings, but also presents photos from the 1948 Games, the first Olympiad following World War II and second hosted by London.