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  Stunning opening for Paralympics
Updated 18 September 2004, 10.47
The opening ceremony was spectacular
The Paralympics have started in Athens after a spectacular opening ceremony before a sell-out 72,000 crowd.

Fireworks, light projections and thousands of volunteers kicked off 11 days of sporting action in Greece.

The first of the 3,800 athletes taking part in the Games are in action on Saturday when eight of the 18 different sports in the Paralympics begin.

CBBC presenter Ade Adepitan is one of the athletes in action, when the GB wheelchair basketball team tip-off.

Athlete Noel Thatcher carried the GB flag
Athlete Noel Thatcher carried the GB flag
The main part of the ceremony was a 26m-high fake tree in the centre of the Stadium to represent life.

136 countries have sent athletes to Greece to take part in the Paralympics.

Team GB has taken 166 athletes to the Games and they will compete in 15 of the sports.

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