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Paralympics: Stephen Hawking To Narrate Opening Ceremony


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#1 Shadow_X

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:19 PM


Professor Stephen Hawking will help narrate a "journey of discovery" at the Paralympic opening ceremony, it has been revealed.


The world-renowned physicist, who has motor neurone disease, will appear live at Wednesday's event at the Olympic Stadium.


Called Enlightenment, the show will start at 20:30 BST and will showcase the talents of disabled performers.


Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry has been involved in its design.


A sell-out crowd of about 60,000 people will watch the ceremony in east London, which will be opened by the Queen and watched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


Organisers say the ceremony's central themes will be empowerment and the challenging of perceptions of human possibility, and welcomes home a Games which started in 1948 in Stoke Mandeville.


Ceremony 'storytelling'
Bradley Hemmings, one of the Paralympic opening ceremony's artistic directors, said the team approached Prof Hawking towards the end of 2011.


"We worked very closely with Professor Hawking to develop a series of messages which are very much integrated into the storytelling of the ceremony.


"We have spent time with him [Prof Hawking] in Cambridge and have been so incredibly gratified with him giving his time".


Prof Hawking - a British theoretical physicist and former Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University - is famous for his work around the Big Bang theory and his book A Brief History of Time.


In 1963, the professor was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given just years to live. But the 70-year old went on to defy the odds with a glittering career in the scientific arena.


Mr Hemmings praised the professor's "humanity and humour", saying "he is a fun guy".


The start of the show will feature a fly past by Aerobility, a British charity that trains disabled people to become pilots.


Much like the Olympic opening ceremony, the show will feature references to the work of playwright William Shakespeare.


British Hollywood actor Sir Ian McKellen will play the role of Prospero from Shakespeare's play The Tempest during the ceremony.


Fellow artistic director Jenny Sealey said: "You will be taken on the most exquisite journey of discovery inspired by the wonder of science.


"Both Hawking and McKellen in their narrative talk about what we all need to remember; don't just look down at your feet, look at the stars, be curious."

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#2 Princess_Malin90

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

I like paralympics.. Its so much more pure joy and happiness among the athletes than in normal olympics. And I admire them so much for using their limitations as their advantage to make a difference in life :D

#3 Shadow_X

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 11:12 PM

I must admit I was disgusted with Channel 4's coverage, having ad breaks during the ceremony so we all missed bits.

I didn't really understand it either, who's this miranda ?

It was still good though.

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#4 Richardovellee

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Posted 26 December 2016 - 09:10 AM

You know what? I am totally disgusted with the organisers. The Olympic opening ceremony, was massive, was on BBC, and was a major event. But the Paralympics if on C4 with a much smaller affair. Im sorry, but I know who are the real heros these people have taken what life has thrown at them and pushed and pushed until they are at the top of their game How do we reward it? we let them know that we believe they are less important, mean less, and are generally of a lower standard. Angry. >=o Lou x




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