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Final Olympic countdown has begun
The eyes of the world are on London as the final countdown to the start of the 2012 Olympics begins.
The big stage rehearsals for Friday night's £27 million opening ceremony are now complete. Director Danny Boyle, the mastermind behind the opening ceremony, believes the curtain-raiser at the Olympic Stadium is fitting both for London and everyone who will compete at the Games.
"Part of the theme of our show is that this is for everyone," he said. "It is very easy to get it out of perspective when you are doing a warm-up act like this and we have not forgotten that perspective."
He added: "We all know that we are a warm-up act for the 10,000 athletes who are getting ready to compete in the Olympic Games.
"They are the most important thing about the show, except one thing. This is a show that has been built out of our volunteers. They are the people who have turned up in rain and terrible conditions and have built this show.
"They really are the most extraordinary group of people. This show is theirs. This country is theirs. They really are the best. They really are the best of us."
Special effects, big names and bags of enthusiasm will be used to help celebrate the best of British in front of an audience of more than 70,000 who will be watching live at the stadium in Stratford, east London.
Prime Minister David Cameron, after seeing previews of the show, predicted the public should expect some "spine-tingling" moments.
He said: "There are one or two moments I think are really spine-tingly and I certainly have been very moved by them.
"We have a lot to celebrate as a country and I am sure we will do a great job."