The Washington Post was present at Ditan Park for the opening ceremonies. As reported in For Chinese, A Long-Awaited Occasion of Hope and Pride...
"Everyone is crying out, 'Go, China!' I feel the park is going to explode," said Liu Jian, 29, a composer who watched the ceremony in Ditan Park.
Audiences cheered loudly for Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei, as Taiwan is referred to at the Olympics. They applauded loudly for allies such as Pakistan and Cuba, for soccer nations Brazil and Spain, and for Iraq. In Ditan Park, there were no discernible boos for the United States or Japan, both targets in the past of virulent expressions of Chinese nationalism.
When a towering Yao Ming entered the stadium at the head of the Chinese delegation bearing a giant Chinese flag, thousands of people sitting on every available inch of pavement rose to their feet screaming and cheering until their faces were red.
I was one of the people yelling and jumping on my feet. Here was the scene when China entered: