London Paralympics 2012: What We Loved At The Opening Ceremony From Professor Stephen Hawking To David Toole

30 August 2012 by

GALLERY >> Opening Ceremony Highlights

Have you been missing the [a href="/tag/Olympics">Olympics[/a]? What fun we had cheering on our favourite athletes, marvelling at their toned abs, mimicking their [a href="/beauty/archive/2012/08/06/manicure-monday--the-patriotic-special-part-2--6-8-2012-.htm">patriotic manicures[/a]. So hurrah for the Paralympics, here to save us from our post-Games slump!

Team GB's amazing [a href="/conversation/archive/2012/08/29/the-london-2012-paralympics-are-nearly-here--and-we-ve-got-the-ones-to-watch.htm">Paralympians[/a] are ready to take our emotions to another level this week and it all kicked off with the Opening Ceremony last night. Were you one of the billion people watching on the telly box? Were you? Were you?

Fret not if you missed the spectacular show because we've rounded-up the bestest moments in the gallery above - from the world's biggest ever apple crunch to Boris Johnson's clapping - so get clicking!

1. Professor Stephen Hawking

The legendary scientist, who has motor neurone disease, took centre stage as he launched the show entitled Enlightment. Narrated by his distinctive voice, he took viewers on an 'exquisite journey of discovery' to challenge 'perceptions of human possibility'.

2. Sir Ian McKellen

The British actor performed scenes from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest in the role of Prospero. Disabled actress Nicola Miles-Wildin played Miranda and Professor Stephen Hawking encouraged her to 'be curious'.

3. The Paralympians

A record 4,200 paralympians from 166 nations paraded through the Olympic Stadium - but we saved our whoops for Team GB who appeared just before 11pm in Union Jack wheelchairs. David Bowie's Heroes and cheers from the 62,000-strong audience made the perfect soundtrack.

4. Boris Johnson

After his hilarious 'dad dancing' at the Closing Ceremony earlier this month, the London Mayor was jigging about with the best of them, merrily clapping his hands. Bless him.

5. The world's biggest ever apple crunch

No less than 62,000 people bit into 62,000 Royal Gala apples all at the same time! It tied in with an incredible sequence involving Sir Isaac Newton's law of gravity, dozens of wheelbarrows and a sea of giant inflatable apples that floated through the stadium.

6. The Queen

Although the Royal Box was disappointingly Harry-free and Queenie didn't parachute in with James Bond, her Majesty did look resplendent in gold and silver brocade as she declared the Games open. The Duchess of Cambridge, who repeated [a href="/fashion/archive/2012/08/29/kate-middleton-repeats-day-birger-et-mikkelsen-coat-dress-for-paralympics-openin.htm">her favourite champagne-coloured coat dress[/a], also looked utterly regal. The pair sat alongside hubby Prince William, Princess Anne as well as David and Samantha Cameron. Prince Philip was unable to attend due to his recent illness.

7. David Toole

This was a real show-stopper. The double amputee, who taught himself to dance on his hands after losing both his legs when he was 18 months old, performed a graceful display on a zip wire. Jasmine van den Bogaerde, a 16-year-old school girl from Hampshire, sang alongside him.

8. The Finale

The celebrations came to a close as all 3,250 volunteers performed with singers Beverley Knight, Lizzie Emeh and Caroline Parker, who belted out I Am What I Am. The audience joined in using sign language. As executive producer Stephen Daldrey said, this show is 'Not about England. This is not about Britain. This about challenging perceptions.' BRING. IT. ON!


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Jennifer Maidman (Fri Aug 31 17:54:53 BST 2012): You're in good company Dave!
Dale Britten (Wed Sep 05 13:23:52 BST 2012): ,