Published Saturday, 28 July 2012
The Olympic Cauldron is lit during the Opening Ceremony (© Getty)
This was one of the greatest surprises of the night masterminded by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle - the identity of who was to light up the cauldron had been shrouded in secrecy ahead of the ceremony.
All seven, who have shown great promise in their disciplines, were nominated by the UK's Olympic greats.
Katie Kirk was nominated by NI hero Dame Mary Peters, who won gold in the women's Pentathlon at the 1972 Munich games 40 years ago.
Katie was selected to run at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi in India, in the 400m and 4x400m relay.
She was also part of the gold medal-winning team in the 4x400m relay at the European Junior championships in Tallinn in Estonia.
The seven teenagers ran around the track together after being passed the flame by five-time Olympic gold medallist rower Sir Steve Redgrave on the last leg of the relay.
They were each greeted by their nominator, who also included Dame Kelly Holmes, Duncan Goodhew, Lynn Davies, Daley Thompson and Shirley Robertson.
They each lit one of the copper petals which had been brought into the stadium by the competing nations during the athletes' parade.
At the end of the three-hour, multi-million pound ceremony, the long stems then rose up to the London sky to create the uniquely designed cauldron, made up of over 200 flames, which will continue to burn bright throughout the Games.
The torch had made its final journey from central London down the River Thames to the stadium in east London in a speedboat with former England captain David Beckham onboard.
Earlier the Queen stole the show with her movie acting debut as she joined James Bond.
In a rare scene filmed in advance and screened for the first time on Friday night, actor Daniel Craig arrived at Buckingham Palace, striding past the corgis towards the royal study.
"Good evening Mr Bond," says the Queen, before they left together, apparently heading towards the Olympic Stadium in a helicopter.
At the end of the sequence, the Queen and Prince Philip received a standing ovation as they arrived in the stadium. She later declared the London Olympics officially open.
At the start of the ceremony Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins rang the giant bell which marked the start of the show.
Spectators were then taken through a journey of Britain's revolutions - and Belfast born star Kenneth Branagh featured as the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, reading from Shakespeare's The Tempest.
In another surprise Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean created laughter as he joined Sir Simon Rattle conducting the theme from Chariots of Fire, while Harry Potter author JK Rowling started the tale of JM Barrie's Peter Pan in a rare public appearance.
Four-time Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy was the flag bearer for Team GB, while four-time amateur world boxing champion Katie Taylor was Ireland's flag bearer at the ceremony.
The Olympic Games end on 12 August.