The 14th Paralympic Games, described as the biggest in the history of the event, opened in London on Wednesday, with a spectacular and colourful opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
The Paralympic Games, which is also the second largest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games, has 166 countries, including Ghana participating in the spirit of Olympism and global recognition.
Ghana’s team led by veteran Olympian Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe, followed by other athletes and some members of the technical team and officials paraded around the Olympic stadium in front of 80,000 people, in a parade tagged as “Spirit in Motion” by the organisers.
Dressed in beautiful “Kente fugu” over white shirts and black trousers, the Ghanaian contingent, which came immediately after Germany, saw the Ghanaians having a fair share of recognition and admiration from the crowd with their ceremonial attire taking a center stage for discussion among the media men and some sections of the crowd.
The colourful ceremony, which was dubbed “Enlightenment” was a combination of powerful ideas, creativity and science, backed by a team of 3000 adult volunteers and over 100 professionals who thrilled the fans with the best of performances for the evening.
Head of Ghana’s delegation Bishop Cornelius Adja Cofie described the event as a memorable one and fitting for the occasion.
He noted that the 2012 Paralympic Games, under the theme “Inspire a generation”, will indeed serve as an inspiration for the new generation of athletes especially in Ghana.
Lord Coe, Head of the Local Organising Committee in a welcome address told the crowd of participants and spectators that, "prepare to be inspired, prepare to be dazzled, prepare to be moved”.
He said Britain was ready and the crowds in attendance would be "unprecedented", adding that it will be a memorable one”.
Ghana goes into the event with four athletes in athletics, cycling and power-lifting, with high hopes of at least picking a medal of two for their exploits so far on the African continent.
Source: William D. Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent, London, England
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