World's biggest Paralympics to open in London

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World's biggest Paralympics to open in London

by AFP Videos 2:17 mins

World's biggest Paralympics to open in London

by AFP Videos 2:17 mins

SCRIPT:The brainwave of a German-Jewish neurologist the Paralympic movement was born in 1948 when 16 wheelchair-bound war veterans took part in the Stoke Mandeville games.12 years later the first official Paralympic Games took place in Rome and since then the event has grown enormously.It is now - in terms of athlete participation - the second-biggest sporting event on the planet after the summer Olympics and organisers hope that London can build upon the success of Beijing Games four years ago.SOUNDBITE 1: Craig Spence, director of communications and media at International Paralympic Committee [IPC] [man, English, 22 sec]:"This is going to be a record-breaking Paralympic Games -- we have 4,200 athletes from 166 countries -- that's an increase of 250 athletes and 20 countries from Beijing four years ago. We have 16 countries who are making their debut here in London which shows that the Paralympic movement is growing all the time and we're convinced that this is going to be a truly sensational Games."Sprinter Oscar Pistorius is the poster-boy for the Paralympic movement.The South African flag bearer has already competed in the Olympics and will go in the 100m, 200m and his preferred event the 400m.SOUNDBITE 2 Oscar Pistorius, South African athlete(man, English, 18 secs):"I'm as proud to be a Paralympian as I am to be an Olympian. I don't think there's anything to be ashamed of, I'm so excited for this Paralympic Games. Every Paralympic athlete here has done their bit to qualify - it makes me proud to be a part of the Paralympic movement, more than ever."As Pistorius looks to defend the three golds he won in Beijing - he is just one of thousands of athletes bidding for glory in London.Britain has a team of 300 gunning for gold while France are bringing 200 athletes across the channel.Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum Cambodia, which has the highest rate of amputees in the world, is represented by a single athlete Thin Seng Hon - and the sporting hopes of the Palestinian territories lie with just two athletes, both residents of the Israel-blockaded Gaza strip.The "para" in Paralympic is an abbreviation of parrallel as the Games were never conceived to compete with the Olympics themselves. And as organisers say, the next two weeks of competition are the second chapter of what they have trumpeted as a great British summer of sport.SHOTLISTVARIOUS DATES & LOCATIONS(SOURCES: AFPTV)STOKE MANDEVILLE, UK - 28/08/2012 - SOURCE: AFPTV- VAR Ext. Stoke Mandeville stadium- CU statue of Ludwig Guttmann-VAR start of 24-hour torch relay from Stoke Mandeville to LondonLONDON, 22/08/2012 - SOURCE: AFPTV- Set up shot Craig SpenceSOUNDBITE 1STILL PHOTOSDAEGU, SOUTH KOREA–29/08/ 2011 - SOURCE AFP / Olivier Morin - Oscar Pistorius during 400 m at IAAF World ChampionshipsMANCHESTER, UK– 22 /05/2012 – SOURCE AFP / Paul Ellis- Oscar Pistorius winning Paralympic World Cup 200mMANCHESTER, UK 22 /05/2012 - SOURCE AFP / Paul Ellis - Pistorius waving after winning Paralympic World Cup 200mLONDON, 22/08/2012 - SOURCE: AFPTVSOUNDBITE 2LONDON, 24/08/ 2012 - SOURCE: AFPTV-VAR Claire Lomas lighting the Paralympic flame in a cauldron with David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Sebastien Coe watchingPARIS, 24/08/2012- Members of French Paralympic teamPHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, 14/08/2012 - SOURCE: AFPTV-Wide of Cambodian Paralympian runner Thin Seng Hon at track starting line during practice, coach in foreground.- CU of Thin Seng Hon setting into starting blocks.- MS of Thin Seng Hon and an able-bodied runner in starting blocks then runningGAZA, PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, 10/08/2012 - SOURCE: AFPTV - VAR of Khamis Zaqout and Mohammed Fannouna at the Al Jazeera clubLONDON, 24/08/ 2012 - SOURCE: AFPTV-VAR of the Paralympic mascot-VAR of the spectators

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