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2012 Olympics: Seven young British athletes light Olympic flame

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Seven young athletes representing the future of British sport run with the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer
Seven young athletes representing the future of British sport run with the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 on July 27, 2012 in London.
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

(CBS/AP) Seven promising young British athletes lit the Olympic cauldron on Saturday, marking the official start of the 2012 London Olympics.

Pictures: London 2012 opening ceremony
Complete Coverage: London Olympics 2012

The torch made the final journey to the stadium via David Beckham on a boat down the River Thames and was carried to the stadium by five-time Olympic gold medalist Steve Redgrave, who passed the flame onto the young athletes.

The identity of the person lighting the torch was a closely guarded secret and speculation in advance of the ceremony included the names of many of Britain's former Olympians. In the end, the honor went to Callum Airlie, Jordan Duckitt, Desiree Henry, Katie Kirk, Cameron MacRitchie, Aidan Reynolds and Adelle Tracey

The seven British teens lowered torches to trumpet-like tubes that spread into a ring of fire during one of the signature moments of director Danny Boyle's $42 million show. The copper "petals" then rose skyward and came together to form the elegant cauldron.

Fireworks erupted over the stadium to music from Pink Floyd. With a sing-a-long of "Hey Jude," Beatle Paul McCartney closed a show that ran 45 minutes beyond its scheduled three hours.