Live: Rugged-up Aussies enter as shirtless American Samoan steals the show at Winter Olympics opening ceremony

That’s it for tonight

The snowflake cauldron rises in the air in the Bird’s Nest stadium as fireworks signal the end of the opening ceremony (Getty)

Ok, it’s official, the Winter Games are now open!

The ceremony combined an element of low-key (as much as you can for an opening ceremony!), with some lovely artistic flourishes, plenty of representation of the people – of China and the world – and of course, snowflakes.

The athletes have marched, the Aussies came out in fine form – congratulations to flag bearers Brendan Kerry and Laura Peel – and now it’s time for the rest of competition to start tomorrow!

We will be covering the Australian performances, results and stories plus some of the colour of the Games and the stars of the various sports.

We will be blogging the closing ceremony on February 20, and we may have occasional blogs during competition.

In the meantime, thank you for joining me, Andrew McGarry, and Simon Smale in Beijing, for tonight’s opening ceremony. Good night.

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