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In the beginning: Olympic opening ceremonies of the past decade

British director Danny Boyle has some tough acts to follow in Friday's opening Olympic ceremonies

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Sydney, 2000: Aboriginal dancers carry flags during the opening ceremony of Sydney's Olympic Games.

PETER MUELLER/Reuters

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Salt Lake City, 2002: Covered wagons move across the stage at the Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP

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Athens, 2004: Performers dressed as ancient Greek athletes pose during the opening ceremonies.

AMY SANCETTA/Associated Press

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Turin, 2006: Yuri Chechi, an Olympic gymnast from Italy, starts the ceremony by pounding an anvil.

JULIE JACOBSON/Associated Press

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Beijing, 2008: Chinese gymnast Li Ning carries the Olympic torch as he makes his way around the rafters of the National Stadium suspended by cables to light the Olympic flame.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

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Vancouver, 2010: A snowboarder flies through the Olympic rings at the Winter Games festivities held at BC Place.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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