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Professor Stephen Hawking, disabled artists and over 3,000 volunteers will take part in tonight’s Paralympics opening ceremony.

Six athletes in golden wheelchairs will fly into the stadium of 80,000 people. Star athletes will include the UK’s finest – 11 time champion Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson. There will also be performers doing circus skills, an extravagant light display and music from three East London DJs.

It’s predicted there will be a pre-recorded message from Professor Hawking, and his famous robotic voice, for the worldwide TV audience and stadium attendees. Guests at the venue will include the Queen, plus the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The show will open with the phrase ‘O wonder! How many goodly creatures there are here,’ from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. An actress playing Miranda, the daughter of old Duke Prospero in the play, will lead viewers through the spectacular event.

“It [the Paralympics opening ceremony] focuses on that extraordinary period in European history and the great intellectual revolution that took place between 1550 and 1720. Everything from Newton making sense of gravity and motion to Napier with logarithms and Harvey with blood circulation,” explains Lord Coe, head of London 2012.

“It’s really about ceilings, about human understanding, about limitations and the importance of knowledge. 

“Within that period some quite profound things were being said about the rights of man.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced that the Paralympics will be a “wonderful show” and that it will change public opinion about those with disabilities. They will be “blown away,” he claims.

Great Britain is expecting to beat their achievements in Beijing in 2008, where they won 102 medals in the Paralympic Games


London 2012: Paralympics Opening Ceremony set to feature Stephen Hawking
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