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Video - Crates carries GB Paralympic flag
Athlete Danny Crates revealed that carrying the British flag at Saturday's Paralympic Games opening ceremony in Beijing had been 'truly awesome'.
Crates, 35, competing in his third Games and defending his T46 800m title, led his team-mates into the Bird's Nest cheered on by 91,000 noisy spectators.
"It was utterly spectacular, even more so than I had imagined," Crates said.
Despite struggling with an Achilles problem, he should be ready for the start line on Sunday 14 September.
The former rugby player who lost his arm in a road accident in Australia in 1994 added: "I don't think you can prepare yourself for walking out in front of 91,000 people.
You feel yourself welling up when you are part of an opening ceremony anyway
"I had goose bumps. It was such a huge honour. To lead such a professional, well prepared team of elite athletes is a very proud moment.
"You feel yourself welling up when you are part of an opening ceremony anyway, let alone carrying the flag. But being a true Essex lad I held the tears back."
Shot putter and discus thrower Gemma Prescott, set for her Paralympic debut, said: "It's really, really impressive. I didn't know what to expect.
"Watching the Olympics was something really spectacular but I didn't know it would be like this. It was so exciting to parade, especially because I am an athlete and to think I am going to be throwing in this stadium in a few days is awesome."