- (Photo: Reuters.Tim Wimborne)
The Paralympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony commences at 8.30 p.m. (3.30 p.m. ET) sparking the opening if the 11 day sports fest for athletes with disabilities. The Paralympic Games opening ceremony can be watched online through live stream (link below).
This year's Paralympics will feature more than 4,000 athletes from 165 countries and is set to be one of the most spectacular Paralympic Games ever held, according to excited organizers.
The opening ceremony will include a cast of about 3,000 volunteers and is being heralded as a spectacular event called "Enlightenment." The show will be narrated by Professor Stephen Hawking and Sir Ian McKellen and will feature a scientific "journey of discovery," inspired in part by Prof Hawking's own book "A Brief History of Time."
The opening ceremony will boast an 80,000 capacity crowd as well as millions across the globe, who will witness the spectacular opening in Stratford, east London along with the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The start of the show will feature a flypast by organization "Aerobility," which is a British charity that trains disabled people to become pilots. Fifty specialist performers in the ceremony have taken part in an eight-week circus skills training program in east London, and will take part in a "high-wire act," according to the BBC.
The main themes of the event will be empowerment and the challenging of perceptions of human possibility, mirroring the challenges that many of the paralympians have overcome themselves to represent their countries at the Games this year.
Hawking will act as a guide to Miranda, a character from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest, through the show, where as Sir Ian will play Prospero, another character from the play.
Co-artistic director Jenny Sealey has said, "Both Hawking and McKellen in their narrative talk about what we all need to remember: don't just look down at your feet, look at the stars, be curious."
The Paralympics 2012 opening ceremony starts at 8.30 p.m. (3.30 p.m. ET) and can be watched online through live stream by clicking here.