Before a vast audience of 100,000, the 17th Modern Olympic Games opened Aug 25 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Before a vast audience of 100,000, the 17th Modern Olympic Games opened Aug 25 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The colourful pageantry of the stirring ceremony - despite the blistering sun -made every moment's discomfort worthwhile to the crowds.
The King and Queen of Greece, Prince Albert of Belgium and Princess Paola and film star Elizabeth Taylor were among the many famous personalities present as contingents from 84 countries marched past in the traditional Olympic parade.
Italian President Gronchi officially declared the opening of the Games and the Olympic Flag entered the stadium to the voices of the chorus of the Academy of Saint Cecilia in Rome.
While the bells were ringing from Rome's hundreds of churches, a dark-haired young student, Giancarlo Peris, entered the stadium with the Olympic torch held high. He ran most of a lap round the track and up the stairs the topmost terraces where, standing silhouetted against the skyline, he lit the flame which will burn until the Games end on Sept. 11.