6 May 2012

Olympic stadium opened in London

1:00 pm on 6 May 2012

The Olympic stadium in London was formally opened on Saturday night by a girl who lives just down the road.

Niamh Clarke-Willis, aged nine, who can see the Olympic Park from her home in Hackney, stepped into the £500 million stadium with London 2012 chairman Seb Coe.

Together they pressed a blue button that opened a net and sent balloons swirling above the crowd of 40,000.

Niamh was chosen to do the honours at a special event celebrating 2012 hours to go until the Games begin on 27 July.

Paralympic gold medal-winning archer Danielle Brown earlier shot arrows at two spinning targets to select a name from 100 pre-selected girls and boys.

Spectators went through airport-style security checks to enter the venue. The event included a laser light show.

Tonight is only the start of the story,'' said Lord Coe. I'm grateful to everyone who came here tonight to celebrate this moment in history.

London previously hosted the Oympics in 1948 and 1908.