Could the stakes have been any higher? A global audience of billions waiting to see the best of British creativity.
It started with the shipping forecast murmuring around the stadium. An early indication that the creators were not going to be shy in embracing idiosyncrasy.
Then a film played. It began underwater at the source of the Thames and ran its length, right up to the Olympic Stadium.
Then things really got going with a spectacular homage to the Industrial Revolution.
Twenty minutes in and Twitter was buzzing with excitement and a realisation that: "Shit, this is actually pretty good." Then it got better, and better.
The team that put this together had let their imagination run riot. Flocks of sheep, trampoline beds, dozens of Mary Poppins. We got JK Rowling, and even the Queen apparently arriving by parachute accompanied by James Bond.
The soundtrack had everything. The Beatles, The Who, the London Symphony Orchestra with Mr Bean, the Dam Busters theme ... it was the biggest assertion of Britishness since Blackcurrant Tango.
People were calling for Danny Boyle to be knighted. The Chinese news agency said it was "dazzling and stunning". The Times of India deemed it "a vibrant picture of Great Britain's rich heritage". Vladimir Putin described it as "wonderful and unforgettable".
To add a bit of balance, the Tory MP Aidan Burley said it was "Leftie, multicultural crap".
The grand prix for the most fantastic opening ceremony should go to London.
Roll the Credits
Artistic director: Danny Boyle
Producer: Tracey Seaward
Designers: Suttirat Anne Larlarb, Mark Tildesley
Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Music director: Rick Smith (Underworld)
Associate director: Paulette Randall
Movement director: Toby Sedgwick
Choreographers: Temujin Gill, Kenrick "H2O" Sandy, Akram Khan
Executive producer, production design: Mark Fisher
Executive producer, creative: Stephen Daldry
Lighting designer: Patrick Woodroffe
Technical director: Piers Shepperd