I may not agree with China's human rights record to date and I think they may have been given the Olympics too soon, but that was without doubt the best Opening Ceremony ever.
The sheer scale and precision of it was awe-inspiring in every way. I loved that it centred around the human involvement and the technology was used just as a highlight to the performers skills.
Over 15,000 chinese performed in it with amazing coordination, precision and dexterity. I also thought the way it acknowledged China's desire to change it's world image was very well done.
The 2008 drummers who opened the ceremony had immaculate timing, the costumes were stunning and the music a perfect compliment. What would usually have been spectacular fireworks were just a mere sideshow to centre stage - and what a stadium!
For me it showed the human face of this formidable nation. To see the smiling faces of chinese children and people made me realise we are all just humans with the same desires, concerns and wishes. The spinning globe sequence near the end with the acrobats running around it and then Sarah Brightman (how did she get this gig!?) atop singing, was beautiful.
I have to say I don't think London in 2012 has a hope of beating or even equaling this stunning ceremony, I just hope they at least do us proud or as proud as the Chinese did themselves today.
I think this will be an interesting 2 weeks in China and maybe it will be the turning point for this huge nation in the way the rest of the world views it. Having seen the faces of hope in that stadium tonight amongst the performers, I for one am hoping this proves to be the case for the sake of the people.