Olympic Stadium; Photo: Vincent Laforet/NY Times

The Athens Olympics opened in earnest last night, with a beautiful ceremony with many references to Greek mythology. The games began despite numerous delays and under heavy, heavy security. The costs for security have already amounted to $1.2 billion and include: fighter jets, spy cameras, AWACS from NATO, and a security force of 100,000.

There were some worries about how the United States would be received during the parade of athletes, which included 202 nations, but all seemed to be okay. The 500 Americans were not jeered or booed, as some thought they would be, but given a polite and warm welcome by the Greek crowd. How will they be received as the games progress? Only time can tell.

The games already started on Wednesday with soccer, or football, as the rest of the world calls it. Archery also started before Friday's festivities. The weekend competitions include medal rounds for road cycling, diving, fencing, judo, shooting, swimming, and weightlifting. See the full schedule here.

With Athens seven hours ahead of eastern time, it looks to be hard to catch live action. Check out NBC's Olympics site, which has a little box showing what's being broadcast on their channels.