London woke up for the first day of the 14th Paralympic Games, which are going to attract a record number of athletes.
The Russian delegation comprises over 300 people, including 183 athletes from over 40 of Russia’s regions. The national team features some repeated Paralympic champions. The Russian flag was carried by two-time Paralympic track and field champion Alexei Ashapatov. The Paralympics are running from 29 August until 9 September to offer competitions in 20 sports.
Sources: RIA Novosti, AP
The first organized athletic event for disabled athletes took place in Great Britain in 1948, bringing together 16 WW II veterans for a shooting event at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Four years later the first Paralympic Games were held in Rome, attracting 400 athletes from 23 countries. Since then the Paralympics have grown into an international event.
Margaret Maughan, 84, Britain's first Paralympic Games gold medalist, lit the cauldron in an opening ceremony. The “Enlightenment” marked the start of the 11-day event, in which about 4,300 athletes from 166 countries will compete.
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