The skies over Vancouver illuminated by spectacular pyrotechnic display.
But a black cloud has crept across the 2010 Winter Olympics following the death of a 21-year-old Georgian luger.
Nodar Kumaritashvili crashed at high speed at the Whistler Sliding Centre during training.
His sled hit the inside of the tracks last turn throwing his body into the air and over a concrete wall where he smashed into a steel pole.
Medics tried in vain to resuscitate the athlete, but the Georgian team confirmed he had died as a result of his injuries.
The International Olympic Committee say an investigation had been launched amid fears that the track is simply too quick.
IOC President Jacques Rogge expressed his sadness at the young man’s death:
“Sorry, it is difficult to remain composed. This is a very sad day, the IOC is in deep mourning, here you have a young athlete who lost his life in pursuing his passion. He had a dream to participate in the Olympic Games, he trained hard and he had this fatal accident… I have no words to say what we feel…”
Georgia say they will continue to compete in honour of the dead man.