Opening Ceremony Kicks Off 2012 Paralympics In London

Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and his wife Kate were back at the Olympic Park Wednesday for the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games.

While the 2012 London Olympics are a tough act to follow, the Paralympics began with a rousing start complete with dancers and fireworks. The Paralympics have also been a hot ticket with near sellouts at the same venues used for the Olympics. This is the biggest Paralympics in history with nearly 4,300 athletes from more than 160 countries.

In contrast, the first Paralympics in 1960 in Rome attracted just 400 athletes. The idea for the Paralympics originated at the 1948 London Olympics by a german doctor who opened a spinal center for injured World War II soldiers.On the day of the opening ceremony in 1948 the doctor held the first archery competition for wheelchair athletes.

NBC will air a 90 minute special on The Paralympics run August 29th - September 9th. NBC will air a 90 minute special September 16th. NBC Sports Network will also have coverage of the events. You can find a link below to the Paralympics website for full coverage.

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