LONDON (AP) - International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge has praised London as a "diverse, vibrant, cosmopolitan" city and thanked it for hosting the games for a record third time.
The IOC leader made his remarks in a speech to 60,000 spectators and thousands of athletes at Friday's opening ceremony.
Rogge says it's "a major boost for gender equality" that all 204 participating countries include female competitors for the first time.
He has warned the athletes to reject doping, saying they will be judged by how they compete, not whether they win.
"Character counts far more than medals," he said, his words ringing out across Olympic Stadium.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
How did a photographer get an inside view of a bear's mouth? (Video)
How much did a painting of a topless "Golden Girl" fetch?
Emma Watson revels in her post-"Potter" freedom at Cannes.
More cursing happens in Maryland than across the Potomac River.