- firework footprints 'walking' in the sky from Tienanmen Square to the Bird's Nest stadium
- 2008 drummers playing in perfect synchronicity, then in the complete darkness with only their drumsticks lit up to finish their performance
- Chinese flag bearer Yao Ming walking with a 9 year old Sichuan earthquake survivor during the parade of nations
- gymnast Li Ning running around the top of the stadium, suspended by wires, with the torch to light the Olympic flame to start the Games
Lowlight: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is one of the few governmental leaders to not appear at the opening ceremony, despite Canada being the next nation to host an Olympics.