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Paralympic flame lit at 'spiritual home'

other Updated: Aug 29, 2012 22:49 IST
Paralympic flame

The Paralympic flame was lit at the spiritual home of disabled sport on Tuesday, signalling the start of the 24-hour countdown to the start of this year's Games.

Some 3,000 people, including former Paralympians and dignitaries such as LOCOG chief Sebastian Coe, watched as the flame took hold at 8:12 pm (2012) at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in southern England.

It was at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in 1948 that a German-Jewish neurologist, Ludwig Gutt-mann, organised the first recognised sports events for people with disabilities, 12 years before the inaugural Paralympics in Rome.

The Paralympic flame - created from four "national flames" kindled on Britain's highest peaks - then began a 148km overnight journey from the world-famous spinal injuries centre to the Olympic Stadium in east London, including boxer Michael Watson, who suffered brain-damage during a super-middleweight title bout with Chris Eubank in 1991.

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