The Heritage Paralympic Flame was lit today during a special Ceremony in Stoke Mandeville, UK, the historical birthplace of the Paralympic Movement. The Heritage Flame will be combined with the five regional flames in Rio de Janeiro on 6 September ahead of the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on 7 September.
The Ceremony was attended by members of the Paralympic Movement including Tim Reddish OBE, Chairman of the British Paralympic Committee, Miguel Sagarra, IPC Board Member and his Excellency Eduardo dos Santos, Brazilian Ambassador to the UK spoke on behalf of the host nation.
The event saw the raising of the Paralympic flag alongside the flags of Brazil and the United Kingdom. The Ceremony followed a theme entitled ‘the seeds of diversity’ and was inspired by the story of the first Stoke Mandeville Games, imagining that in 1948 a seed was planted, which has now spread around the world. Many of the performers taking part in the ceremony also performed at the London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony.
Tim Reddish OBE, Chairman of the British Paralympic Committee said: “It is our honour and privelege to light the Heritage Flame for just the second time, marking the UK’s unique role in the history of the Paralympic Movement. Tonight’s exciting and inspiring spectacle celebrates the values of courage, determination, equality and inspiration that have been at the heart of the Paralympic Movement since its beginnings.”
One of the greatest ever Paralympians Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson who won 16 medals (11 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze) across 5 Paralympic Games was thrilled by the ceremony.
Courtesy of Rio 2016.