The opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games is set to be a real show stopper! This year the Paralympics will feature disabled artists performing circus arts at the opening ceremony that will be opened by Queen Elizabeth on Wednesday, August 29th at 8:30pm (GMT) at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford – London, England. The event is called “Enlightenment”; celebrating the inspirational spirit of the Paralympic Movement which challenges perceptions of human possibility.
There will also be a key emphasis on the Paralympics coming home since Stoke Mandeville was where the seeds of the Games were sown in 1948 when German neurologist Sir Ludwig Guttman organised events for World War II veterans with spinal cord injuries who were rehabilitating at the local hospital.
Fifty specialist performers are taking part in an eight-week circus skills training program taking place at Circus Space in preparation for the Ceremony. The program will see performers with disabilities perform circus arts including established artists and people new to the arts such as rehabilitating soldiers and non-competing Paralympians. In total the Ceremony will include a volunteer cast of over 3,000 adults and over 100 children as well as a professional cast of over 100 performers.
“The Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games is always a magical occasion and I am extremely impressed at what London 2012 has in store for the global audience,” said International Paralympic Committee (IPC) President Sir Philip Craven. ”The theme ‘Enlightenment’ is a fitting one as I am sure the cumulative TV audience of four billion that will watch the Games, as well as the spectators in the stadiums will be enlightened by the stunning performances of all 4,200 athletes who take part in London 2012.”
The Paralympic Games will take place in London from August 29th – September 9th, 2012. ■