It's day one of competition in this country, with roots 5,000 years long and what President Hu Jintao describes as a century-long wish to host the Olympic Games.
Although empty seats are visible at most venues, the games of 2008 have been announced as the first sold-out Olympics ever.
One of the most interesting aspects of these games is that the general populous is being exposed to sports they've never seen. But that doesn't dampen their spirits. Cheerleaders and dancers entertain on the field of play, while volunteers lead cheers in each venue seating area.
Their enthusiasm is contagious, making every athlete from every corner of the globe feel welcome.
But make no mistake, there's one clear favorite.
Love for their athletes and pride for their country make for an amazing spectacle that's on display for billions to see, leaving no doubt that Beijing and all of China were ready for the games of 2008.