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Page last updated at 09:43 GMT, Saturday, 6 September 2008 10:43 UK

Paralympics opening ceremony photos

Fireworks mark the start of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics

The Beijing Paralympics opening ceremony gets under way with the obligatory fireworks at the Bird's Nest Stadium

The Chinese flag is raised

The national flag of China is raised as the Military Band of the Chinese People's Liberation Army play the national anthem

Colourful dancers

A colourful procession of cartoon marathon athletes follows, delighting the spectators in a packed stadium

Beijing Paralympics mascot

The Games' mascot takes centre stage in a short opening to the ceremony before the teams enter the stadium

The Malaysian team

The athletes from the 148 competing nations enter the stadium to watch the rest of the opening ceremony with the spectators

Danny Crates carries the British flag

Danny Crates leads the British team of 206 athletes into the arena during the 90-minute procession

A Sunbird flies in the Bird's Nest Stadium

A Sunbird flies down from the top of the Bird's Nest Stadium to start the main performance section of the opening ceremony

Paralympics opening ceremony

Blind pianist Jin Yuanhui's performance in the Bird's Nest stadium reflects the four seasons and the cycle of life

GB's Paralympians at the opening ceremony

The Brits arrive with wheelchair tennis stars Jordanne Whiley, David Philipson and Gordon Reid enjoying the atmosphere

Chinese mascot in the opening ceremony

Fu Niu lele is the mascot of the 2008 Paralympic Games and performs the cartoon dance with 20,000 school children

The Paralympic torch is handed over

As the ceremony reaches its climax, swimming star Wu Yunhu passes the torch to Zhang Hongwei, a gold medallist in athletics

Chinese gold medallist Hou Bin

And the flame is lit by Chinese gold medallist Hou Bin, who winches himself up to roof of the Bird's Nest Stadium

see also
Dazzling show opens Paralympics
06 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
Where will Paralympic medals be won?
04 Sep 08 |  Paralympics
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Paralympics
Paralympics on the BBC
25 Aug 08 |  Paralympics
GB Paralympic team for Beijing
24 Jul 08 |  Paralympics

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