OLYMPIC LONDON 2012: Ali makes emotional return to Games
MUHAMMAD Ali had the honour of carrying the Olympic flag into the Olympic Stadium as part of Danny Boyle's multi-million pound opening ceremony spectacular.
The legendary boxer and civil-rights campaigner, made a second emotional return to the Olympics after he was chosen to light the cauldron at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Flanked by eight stellar names including Olympic legend Haile Gebrselassie and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Ali brought the standard bearing the five Olympic rings into the stadium.
GUIDING LIGHTS: The climax of the London 2012 opening ceremony as the lights built up
towards the cauldron after the Olympic flag was delivered
Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered London teenager Stephen, was at the head of the procession which followed the parade of nations as representatives of all 204 nations carried their flags around the perimeter.
Sally Becker, credited with saving hundreds of lives with her volunteer work in Bosnia and Kosovo, was one of the nine to carry the standard alongside Brazilian environmentalist Marina Silva.
Leymah Gbowee is a Liberian peace activist responsible for leading a women's peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.
Shami Chakrabarti is the Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University and the director of Liberty, a British civil liberties advocacy organisation.
Daniel Barenboim has served as a music director of several major symphonic and operatic orchestras and made numerous recordings winning seven Grammy awards in the process.
Earlier the captivated capacity crowd were treated to Daniel Craig as James Bond alongside the Queen as Boyle produced a truly stunning spectacle for all involved.
© Sportsbeat 2012