Paralympic Flame arrives in London ahead of opening ceremony

The spectacular curtain-raiser is set to trigger the start of the 2012 Paralympic Games with Great Britain's athletes hoping to continue the summer of success.
After making its way through Piccadilly Circus and down Regent Street - one of the capital's most popular shopping areas - the flame arrived in Trafalgar Square to loud cheers, carried by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, GB's most successful Paralympian with 11 wheelchair racing gold medals.
Among the torchbearing team was also former boxer Michael Watson and Paralympic swimmer Chris Holmes.
Passing some of city's most famous landmarks such as Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, the torch continued towards its final destination - the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
The torch relay visited a temple in the borough of Brent this morning.
The flames from each of the four host nations which had travelled from London, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh were brought together at the spiritual home of the Paralympic Games at Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire to make up one large torch.
After an overnight relay from there, the flame reached the Shree Swaminarayan Hindu temple in Neasden, Brent, amid traditional prayers, before making its way past the Abbey Road crossing made famous by the Beatles, Lord's Cricket Ground and London Zoo.
By the time it reaches the Olympic Stadium, the relay will have featured 580 torchbearers in teams of five, covering a distance of 90 miles.
The ceremony at the stadium in Stoke Mandeville, where the Paralympic movement began in 1948, was opened by Lord Sebastian Coe who said he was "so excited" the Games were finally coming home.
Lord Coe, the head of London 2012 organisers Locog, also paid tribute to neurologist Dr Ludwig Guttman who founded the Paralympics 64 years ago.
The four flames were struck last week by young disabled and non-disabled Scouts on the four highest mountain peaks in each of the four host nations - Scafell Pike in England, Snowdon in Wales, Ben Nevis in Scotland and Northern Ireland's Slieve Donard.
A record 2.4 million Paralympic tickets have already been sold, half a million to overseas visitors.
The flame arrived at Lord's Cricket Ground in the afternoon.
With only 100,000 tickets left, the Games are on course to be the first Paralympics to sell out. A further 10,000 tickets will be made available each day during the competition.
More than 3,000 adult volunteers are taking part in the opening ceremony, along with around 100 children and a professional cast of 100.
Some of the performers have completed a circus skills training programme to prepare for the performance, which will feature a high-wire act.
The ceremony, signaling the start of 11 days of competition by nearly 4,300 athletes from 166 countries, has been given the theme and title Enlightenment and features deaf artists and those with other disabilities.
Azerbaijan will be represented by 21 Paralympic athletes: Huseyn Hasanov, Oleg Panyutin and Vladimir Zayats, Ulukhan Musayev, Elchin Muradov, Rza Osmanov, Madinat Abdullayeva, Samir Nabirov (Athletics), Yelena Taranova, Akbar Muradov (Shooting), Zinyat Veliyeva (archery), Ramin Ibrahimov, Bayram Mustafayev, Rovshan Safarov, Tofik Mammadov, Karim Sardarov, Ilham Zakiev, Afaq Sultanova (judo), Natalia Pronina (swimming), Elshan Huseyno, Maharram Aliyev (powerlifting).



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