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.

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  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II talks to volunteer workers at the top of the Orbit during a short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II talks to volunteer workers with Boris Johnson Mayor of London (right), at the top of the Orbit, during a short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    The Princess Royal after waving goodbye to her parents Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, after their short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II talks to volunteer workers with Boris Johnson Mayor of London (right), at the top of the Orbit, during a short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II meets one of the taller members of the Great Britain team, as she and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the Athletes Village in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II talks to Lakshmi Mittal who paid for the Orbit, and his wife, with Boris Johnson Mayor of London (right) at the top of the Orbit, during a short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II is shown the Olympic Stadium by London Mayor Boris Johnson from the top of the Orbit, during a short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II is the centre of attention as she and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the Athletes Village dinning hall, in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she meets one of the taller members of the Great Britain team, as she and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the Athletes Village in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II talks to female members of the Great Britain team, as she and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the Athletes Village in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    The Princess Royal waves goodbye to her parents Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, after their short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • Queen Athletes village

    The Queen talks to female members of the Great Britain team, as she and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the Athletes Village in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II is shown in a reflection of a curved mirror by London Mayor Boris Johnson, during a tour at the top of the Orbit, during a short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • Queen Athletes village

    The Queen talks to female members of the Great Britain team, as she and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the Athletes Village in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II meets the Nick Willis of New Zealand, as she and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the Athletes Village dinning hall in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    The Duke of Edinburgh talks to Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, during a tour of the Athletes Village dinning hall in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II meets Chief Executive of British Swimming David Sparkes (right) as LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe (left) looks on at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II meets volunteers at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe (left) speaks to Queen Elizabeth II as they watch the morning session of the Swimming at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II with LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe (left) and the Duke of Edinburgh (2nd right) watch the morning session of the swimming at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics. at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II with LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe (partially obscured) at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II with the Duke of Edinburgh at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe (left) talk to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh (right) at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    The Prince of Wales watches Great Britain's Susan Egelstaff play Slovenia's Maja Tvrdy with Dr Kang Young Joong President of the Badminton World Federation (left) and Gregory Verpoorten Vice-President (right) at Wembley Arena in London during the first day of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • Britain's Prince Charles (C) watches bad

    Britain's Prince Charles (C) watches badminton matches at the Wembley Arena in London on July 28, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRY (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Kanat Abutalipov (L) of Kazakhstan excha

    Kanat Abutalipov (L) of Kazakhstan exchanges blows with Wessam Slamana (R) of Syria during their round of 32 Bantam (56Kg) bout of the 2012 London Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 at the ExCel Arena in London. Abutalipov was awarded a 15-7 points decision. AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/GettyImages)

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.

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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."

Loading Slideshow...
  • Great Britain's (from left to right) Ian Stannard, Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and David Millar lead the peloton down The Mall in central London at the start of the Men's Road Race. Picture date: Saturday July 28, 2012. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • Cyclists make their way past the Queen Victoria Monument and Buckingham Palace in central London at the start of the Men's Road Race. Picture date: Saturday July 28, 2012. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • Great Britain's Hannah Miley practices before the mornings events in the pool at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, London. Picture date: Saturday July 28, 2012. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • China's Xue Chen (left) and Russia's Anastasia Vasina in action during the preliminary round of the Women's Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards Parade, central London. Picture date: Saturday July 28, 2012. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • Great Britain's (left to right) Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish, David Millar and Bradley Wiggins before the Men's Road Race on the Mall, London. Picture date: Saturday July 28, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Cycling Road. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire.

  • Boats are lined up at the start of a women's rowing pair heat in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012. Great Britain is in the foreground. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Men's rowing eight heat in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

  • Great Britain's Jennifer McIntosh shoots during the 10m Air Rifle Women Qualification at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London on day one of the Olympics. Picture date: Saturday July 28, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Shooting. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

  • Cheerleaders perform during Women's Beach Volleyball match between China and Russia on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Horse Guards Parade on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

  • The crowd cheer as the Men's Road Race starts on the Mall, London. Picture date: Saturday July 28, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Cycling Road. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe (left) watches on as Queen Elizabeth II waves to the crowd during the morning session of the swimming at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    (Left - right) LOCOG Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh watch the morning session of the swimming at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics. at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • Siling Yi of China celebrates as she wins the gold medal during the Women's 10m Air Rifle Shooting Final on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

  • Siling Yi of China celebrates with her gold medal during the victory ceremony for the Women's 10m Air Rifle Shooting Final on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Royal Artillery Barracks on July 28, 2012 in London, England. Sylwia Bogacka of Poland won silver and Dan Yu of China won bronze. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Queen Elizabeth II attends the morning competition of the swimming on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Judo

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Artiom Arshansky of Israel (blue) competes with Hiroaki Hiraoka of Japan in the Men's -60 kg Judo on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Badminton

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales watches Badminton on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Arena on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Cycling - Road

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Cadel Evans of Australia speaks with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornrwall at the start of the cycling road race during the 2012 London Olympic games on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States looks on after he competed in heat four of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II talks to volunteer workers with Boris Johnson Mayor of London (right), at the top of the Orbit, during a short tour of the Olympic site in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Queen Elizabeth II meets one of the taller members of the Great Britain team, as she and the Duke of Edinburgh tour the Athletes Village in Stratford east London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Great Britain's Will Satch (left) and George Nash in action in the heats of the men's pair at Eton Dorney during the first day of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • Belarus's Ekaterina Karsten competes in

    Belarus's Ekaterina Karsten competes in the women's single sculls heat 5 of the rowing event during the London 2012 Olympic Games, at Eton Dorney Rowing Centre in Eton, west of London, on July 28, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Britain's Mary King on Imperial Cavalier

    Britain's Mary King on Imperial Cavalier celebrates as she competes in the dressage event of the eventing competition of The 2012 London Olympics at the equestrian venue in Greenwich Park, London on July 28, 2012. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Great Britain fencer Natalia Sheppard (left) during her win in match against Great Britain's Sophie Troiano (right) at the ExCeL Centre, London during the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Great Britain's Helen Glover (right) and Heather Stanning in action in the heat of the women's pair where they set a new Olympic record time of six minutes and 57.29 seconds at Eton Dorney during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    USA's Michael Phelps during his Men's 400m Individual Medley Heat at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Great Britain's Hannah Miley celebrates after winning her Women's 400m Individual Medley Heat at the Aquatics Centre in London on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 0

    Great Britain's Amy Oliver in action during the Women's Individual Archery Ranking Round at Lords Cricket Ground, London.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Great Britain's Louis Smith shows emotion after completing his Pommel Horse routine during the Artistic Gymnastics team qualification at the North Greenwich Arena, London, on day one of the London 2012 Olympics.

  • Olympics Day 1 - Judo

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Hiroaki Hiraoka of Japan (white) competes with Ashley Mckenzie of Great Britain in the Men's -60 kg Judo on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

  • Great Britain's Ashley McKenzie reacts a

    Great Britain's Ashley McKenzie reacts after loosing against Japan's Hiroaki Hiraoka during their men's -60 kgs contest match of the judo event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/GettyImages)

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins with his mother Linda before the Men's Road Race on the Mall, London.

  • Silver medalist Sylwia Bogacka of Poland poses with her medal on the podium after the women's 10 meter air rifle final round during the shooting competition in The Royal Artillery Barracks at the London 2012 Olympic Games, London, Great Britain, 28. July 2012

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    USA's Serena Williams in action during the first round of the Women's Singles at the Olympic tennis venue, Wimbledon.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    First Lady Michelle Obama (far right) watches USA's Serena Williams in action during the first round of the Women's Singles at the Olympic tennis venue, Wimbledon.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Kazakstan's Alexandr Vinokurov celebrates on The Mall in central London after winning the Men's Road Race at the London 2012 Olympics.

  • London Olympic Games - Day 1

    Great Britain's Ben Ainslie after today's practice session in his Finn dinghy. Ainslie starts the defence of his Olympic title on the waters off Weymouth tomorrow.

  • Peter Sagan of Slovakia leads a group of riders up Box Hill during the Men's Road Race Road Cycling on day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

  • Spectators applaud as the peleton rides up Boxhill on the outskirts of London on July 28, 2012, during the men's cycling road race for The 2012 London Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Spectators applaud as the peleton rides up Boxhill on the outskirts of London on July 28, 2012, during the men's cycling road race for The 2012 London Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Anthony Ogogo of Great Britain celebrates his victory over Junior Castillo Martinez of Domincan Republic after their Men's Middleweight (75kg) bout on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • Reika Kakiiwa (L) and Mizuki Fujii of Japan celebrate after victory in their women's doubles badminton match against India's Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa for the London 2012 Olympic Games in London on July 28, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRY (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Anthony Ogogo of Great Britain celebrates his victory over Junior Castillo Martinez of Domincan Republic after their Men's Middleweight (75kg) bout on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov (C) ce

    Kazakhstan's Alexandre Vinokourov (C) celebrates on the podium after he won the men's cycling road race event ahead of Colombia's Rigoberto Uran (L) and Norway's Alexander Kristoff (R) in London on July 28, 2012, during the London 2012 Olympic Games . AFP PHOTO/MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bradley Wiggins of Britain crosses the f

    Bradley Wiggins of Britain crosses the finish line at the end of the men's road race cycling event in London on July 28, 2012, during The 2012 London Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Bradley Wiggins of Britain crosses the f

    Bradley Wiggins of Britain crosses the finish line at the end of the men's road race cycling event in London on July 28, 2012, during The 2012 London Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Mark Cavendish of Britain (C) and the pe

    Mark Cavendish of Britain (C) and the peleton cross the finish line at the end of the men's road race cycling event in London on July 28, 2012, during The 2012 London Olympic Games. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Cycling - Road

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Mark Cavendish of Great Britain looks on ahead of the Men's Road Race Road Cycling on day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

  • Japanese Hirome Miyake waves on the podi

    Japanese Hirome Miyake waves on the podium with her silver medal of the weightlifting women's 48kg group A at Excel Center during the 2012 Olympic Games in London on July 28, 2012. AFP PHOTO / YURI CORTEZ (Photo credit should read YURI CORTEZ/AFP/GettyImages)