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A ceremonial cauldron was lit in Trafalgar Square this morning to celebrate the 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay and Paralympic Games.
Claire Lomas, 32, who was left paralysed from the chest down after a horse riding accident in 2007, lit the cauldron. Last year she walked the London Marathon in a pioneering robotic suit to raise money for Spinal Research.
The cauldron was lit using the English National Flame which was created at Scafell Pike by Scouts earlier this week.
Similar ceremonies will take place in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast over the coming days. The four National Flames will then be united on Tuesday to create the Paralympic Flame which will be carried in a 24-hour relay to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics.
Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said: “The start of the Torch Relay marks the moment when the London 2012 Paralympics comes alive. This will be a second fantastic celebration of sport and an opportunity to showcase the achievements of a remarkable group of people.”
To coincide with the lighting, London Mayor Boris Johnson gave the order for a giant Paralympic Agitos to be lowered from iconic landmark Tower Bridge today.