Thousands of people turned out to welcome the Paralympic flame as it travels on its 24 hour relay en route to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Games tonight at 8 30 attended by the Queen and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The flame set off from its spiritual home- Stoke Mandeville Hospital yesterday, where army doctor Dr Ludwig Guttman pioneered the idea of using 'sport to help with disability' setting up the first wheel chair based games in 1948.

Around 4,000 athletes from more than 150 countries will be taking part in the London 2012 Paralympics, which run from 29 August to 9 September. The Great Britain team for the Games has been finalised with some experienced competitors among the 289 athletes, as well as some newcomers.A strong overseas contingent will also be travelling to London for what the organisers promise will be the best Paralympics yet, following on from the huge success of the London Olympics.

Written and presented by Ann Salter