This evening up to 3,000 guests are set to attend a special ceremony at Stoke Mandeville Stadium to witness the start of the 24-hour Torch Relay.
At around 7.45pm the national flames, lit last week on the four highest mountain peaks in Scotland (Ben Nevis), Wales (Snowdon), England (Scafell Pike) and Northern Ireland (Slieve Donard), will be carried into the stadium to create the Paralympic Flame.
The Torch Relay to the Olympic stadium at Stratford will then begin. Over a twenty four hour period, the torch will travel 92 miles to lead the UK into the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
During tonight’s event Jeremy Hunt, Minister for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, Sir Philip Craven, Chair of the International Paralympic Committee and Eva Loeffler – daughter of Dr Ludwig Guttman the founding father of the Stoke Mandeville Games – will all pay tribute to the role the Stoke Mandeville Games had in defining the modern Paralympic Movement.
Jeremy Hunt said:
‘The Paralympic Games have come home to Britain – and it will be the biggest Games yet, with more athletes, more countries and more spectators than ever before. The talent, commitment and inspiration of the Torchbearers, and ParalympicsGB, reminds us all what can be achieved when we focus on what people can do, rather than what they can’t. I know the whole country will be backing ParalympicsGB throughout the next 10 days of world-class sport.’
Highlights of the Relay route into and around London include:
8.18pm – National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville
9.08pm – Aylesbury Flame Celebration in the Market Square
Wednesday 29 August
6.25am – Shree Swaminaryan Mandir Temple in Brent
8.47am – Abbey Road
9.02am – Lord’s Cricket Ground
9.37am – London Zoo
10.49am – Piccadilly Circus
10.51am –Trafalgar Square
11.04am – Whitehall
1.12pm – Tower Bridge
1.22pm – City Hall
7.30pm – Leyton Jubilee Park, Waltham Forest.
9.57pm – Community Live Site at Stratford Park, Newham