Birmingham kicked off the Commonwealth Games in spectacular fashion, with an enthralling and hopeful ceremony at Alexander Stadium.
In a surprise appearance, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai emphasised the value of education, and as the baton relay came to a close, diver Tom Daley demonstrated his support for LGBTQ+ rights.
But perhaps the best moment came when a ceremony honouring Birmingham’s and the Commonwealth’s diversity featured a 10m tall animatronic bull charging into the stadium.
Following the conclusion of the athletes’ parade, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales were all warmly welcomed before host nation England arrived in a cloud of confetti and cranked up the volume with a rendition of We Will Rock You by the crowd.
The Games are now officially underway, with competitions starting on Friday and involving more than 5,000 athletes from 72 countries and territories competing in 280 medal events across 19 sports.