With the much-praised ceremony over attention turned on Saturday to day one of the sporting action, and all eyes were on Britain's first gold medal hope, Mark Cavendish.
However, the cyclist missed out on a podium finish amid dramatic scenes.
Thousands of people waving Union Flags lined the route and the nation's hopes had rested on Cavendish to continue the feelgood factor after a UK TV audience of 26.9m people watched last night's stunning ceremony.
The 27-year-old had been a favourite at the start of the 250-kilometre race but crowds experienced early nerves as a 12-man breakaway group led by more than five minutes early on.
He lagged behind the front group as the riders re-entered Richmond Park as the race neared its end.
But a key moment offered a ray of hope as half a dozen leaders misjudged a corner and crashed out of the race.
Cavendish had already been anointed champion in many people's eyes but earlier in the day he admitted on Twitter: "I am nervous."
Team GB performed strongly in the rowing and swimming – but China claimed the first gold medal, won by Siling Yi in the shooting.
There is still hope for a day-one Team GB gold, however, in Hannah Miley.
Around 40 members of her swimming club will gather in her home town tonight to watch her go for gold.
The 22-year-old swimmer qualified for the 400m individual medley this morning and is aiming to add to the silver medal she won in the event at last year's World Championships.
Members of Garioch Amateur Swimming Club in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, will take over Hopeville Social Club in the town tonight to cheer Miley.
Club secretary Mandi Crawford said she has already been screaming at the TV this morning as the 22-year-old Scot won her heat and qualified for the final in sixth place overall.
"I thought she looked really good and I texted one of her coaches, Peter Whitehead, who is down at the Olympics, just to say how well she did and I got one back saying they are all really happy and looking forward to tonight," Mrs Crawford said.
The Garioch swimmer's time of 4:32:67 at the Olympic trials was the fastest in the world until last month when world champion Elizabeth Beisel lowered her own textile world record at the American trials.
Miley's performance is all the more impressive as she trains in a 25m pool, half the size of the Olympic pool.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, meanwhile, enjoyed a bird's-eye view of the Olympic Park as they were given a tour of the site.
Fresh from her starring role in last night's opening ceremony, the Queen visited the top of the towering ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture, where she met prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor, who co-created the artwork.
The royal party were joined by London 2012 chairman Lord Coe, London Mayor Boris Johnson and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, the chief executive of Arcelor Mittal, which funded the structure.
After taking the lift to the second floor - 377ft (115m) up - the Queen spent a few minutes on the platform from where she could survey the Stratford site below and the capital's skyline beyond.
Dressed in a royal blue silk dress and crepe coat by Stuart Parvin and a matching hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan, the Queen smiled and nodded as Olympic Delivery Authority chairman Sir John Armitt pointed out the different venues to her.
The Princess Royal - president of the British Olympic Association and a member of the International Olympic Committee - and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, also took part in the visit, the Princess wearing a navy blue blazer jacket, chinos and Team GB trainers.
The Queen, who was wearing a brooch she was given in 1948 - the year the Olympics were last in London - to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Wales, spoke to Games volunteers and ambassadors inside the tower, where floor to ceiling glass windows provide a panoramic view across the city.
As she chatted to volunteers about their roles, she laughed as she was congratulated about her own performance alongside Daniel Craig's James Bond in last night's ceremony.
At the foot of the tower workers could be seen inside the Olympic Stadium clearing away equipment from the show in preparation for the athletics events to come.
The royals moved on for a quick tour of the Aquatics Centre and inside they caught a glimpse of the women's 400m individual medley.
There was a loud cheer for the special spectators as people in the crowd spotted the royal pair by the side of the broadcast cameras.
British crowd members waved union flags in the direction of the monarch.
Before leaving, the Queen examined a model of the uniquely-shaped building.
Olympic Delivery Authority project sponsor Ian Crockford said the Queen expressed awe at the space inside the arena.
"When people enter it they realise it is a huge cavern for sport," he said.
"It really opens itself out to be a huge space. It's not easy to understand that from looking at the outside of the building.
"It takes people's breath away when they go inside, they realise the volume of the space.
"She said: 'Wow, I can see how it works now'. She was interested in how the stands come down in legacy.
"We're already very busy getting this ready for community use. She was very interested in the structures and the way that the area has been transformed."
The Queen and Philip also met venue manager Rob Abernethy and a few of the volunteer Games Makers.
Mr Abernethy, originally from Sydney, Australia, said: "It was a thrill to have her here today.
"She asked a few questions about the number of pools and the facility.
"She met our staff and some volunteers who were only alerted a couple of minutes before that they were going to meet the Queen.
"It was fantastic to watch their reaction to that and I get goosebumps thinking about it."
The royal party also dropped in on members of Team GB when they visited the Athletes' Village during their tour of the Olympic site.
The Queen was shown around some of the team's accommodation as they walked around the British section of the village.
Around 150 Team GB competitors and delegates lined the walkway outside while others looked down from balconies draped with Union flags.
They cheered and applauded as the royal guests walked past before visiting the athletes' dining hall.
Team GB women's basketball player Rose Anderson, 24, said: "It was brilliant. For her to come through and meet the athletes, and see where we're living, it was amazing.
"She went inside one of the athletes' bedrooms and chatted to us. The Duke of Edinburgh was really friendly as well.
"It was just awesome, especially after last night.
"Last night will never be topped. I'll never get an experience like that again, and then this will never be topped either."
Inside the dining hall, where cuisine from all over the globe is served up, the Queen and Philip also spoke to athletes from other nations.
Jess Fox, who represents Australia in the canoe slalom, said: "She's beautiful. We saw her from afar last night in the stadium but it was amazing to see her like this.
"We were all really excited.
"The Duke of Edinburgh was really friendly, he asked us about what we were competing in and when."
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