World’s largest offshore wind farm selects O&M base

first_imgAll three phases will feature GE Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbines installed on monopile foundations. A preferred supplier for the fabrication of the foundations will be announced in 2020, the developers said. The jobs required to operate an offshore wind farm include maintenance technician roles, that will predominately be based offshore, as well as office-based teams to support the operations from land. The main recruitment activity will begin in early 2022 and ramp up as the project nears operation, with the first phase due to begin producing electricity in 2023. Equinor and SSE Renewables plan to build a new Operations and Maintenance (O&M) base at the Port of Tyne, UK, to service the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank offshore wind project. Dogger Bank Wind Farm is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Equinor and SSE Renewables. Source: Port of Tyne The Dogger Bank Wind Farm is estimated to trigger a total capital investment of approximately GBP 9 billion between 2020 and 2026. The Dogger Bank wind farm comprises three 1.2 GW phases, with each phase located more than 130 kilometres from the North East coast of England. The final investment decision on Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B will be made in late 2020, with the FID for Dogger Bank C scheduled for 2021.center_img The construction of the wind farm, led by SSE Renewables, began in January 2020. As the operator for the operations phase, Equinor will construct this new O&M base, and operate the wind farm for its expected life of more than 25 years. The new facility, which includes both office space and a warehouse, will be the onshore base for Equinor’s teams. The project is expected to generate over 200 direct jobs in the region, as well as opportunities for companies at all levels of the supply chain. The Project Stephen Bull, Senior Vice President for Equinor’s North Sea New Energy Solutions, and Chair of Renewable UK, said: “The North East has a strong industrial heritage and a supply area that stretches north and south of the River Tyne. With a strong low-carbon vision for the future; as well as targets to become net zero in its own operations by 2030 the Port of Tyne is clearly well set up to attract future investments which we hope will complement our activities.” The project is also committed to engaging with the UK supply chain, to ensure that UK companies have the chance to get involved, whether it be directly or through one of the project’s Tier One and Two suppliers. An online procurement portal has been established and meet the buyer events will be held in due course, to encourage UK companies to get involved, the developers said.last_img read more

P1.8M worth of ‘shabu’ seized

first_imgResidents Norman De Asis and Sandro Bantadyielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed. De Asis and Bantad were nabbed after they soldsuspected shabu to an undercover officer for P1,000 around 10:30 p.m. on Sept.16, the report added. BACOLOD City – Suspected shabu weighing about120 grams valued at around P1.8 million was seized in a buy-bust operation inBarangay 27.center_img The suspects were detained in the custodial facilityof Police Station 4, facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or theComprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PNlast_img

England against Colombia and history for place in quarters

first_imgMoscow, July 2: England will try and overcome the weight of history of knockout heartbreaks in recent past when they face Colombia in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup here on Tuesday while the South American outfit will attempt to secure a place in the quarter-finals for the second time in succession.England changed nine of their outfield players as they lost to Belgium in their last group game. Coach Gareth Southgate will know if that was the right policy as he looks to lead England to their first win in the knockout stage of a major tournament since World Cup 2006.Southgate has all his squad available except for Fabian Delph, who flew back to the UK on Friday for the birth of his third child, with Dele Ali expected to replace Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield after a calf strain saw him sidelined against Panama and Belgium.John Stones should have no problems playing in defence after he was seen with an ice-bag on his calf after being substituted at half time against Belgium with Southgate saying that had always been his intention.Harry Kane will be England’s main danger with the leader of the race for the 2018 Golden Boot looking to add to the five goals he scored in the first two matches.In attack, he will have the support of Raheem Sterling while attacking midfielders like Ali and Jesse Lingard are good enough to trouble any opposition.Colombia will look to big central defender Yerry Mina and Davinson Sanchez to counteract that threat. The Barcelona stopper has scored two goals himself following set pieces taken by Juan Quintero. IANSlast_img read more

Cricket News Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock Tons Help South Africa Fight After Ravichandran Ashwin Fifer

first_imgNew Delhi: Heading into the third day, the task confronting South Africa was enormous. They had lost three wickets and were confronted with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on top of their game on a wearing pitch. The ghosts of 2015 were all set to make an appearance again for the Proteas. However, Dean Elgar, whose highest score in India was 48 in 2015, defied the odds and smashed his maiden ton in India. Quinton de Kock, who has always done well in India, continued his great run with his fifth century but India still harboured hopes of a sizeable lead after Ravichandran Ashwin’s 27th five-wicket haul reduced South Africa to 380/8, still trailing by 122 runs at the end of play in Vizag on Friday.Elgar and Temba Bavuma started the day well but Bavuma was an early casualty, falling LBW to Ishant Sharma with a delivery that cut back in and stayed low. At 63/4, South Africa had an uphill task but South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis led from the front and Elgar’s solid play also gave South Africa confidence. With Elgar using his feet and negating Ashwin brilliantly, du Plessis joined in and got going with a couple of boundaries off India’s ace offspinner. Elgar’s confidence and du Plessis’ aggression slightly upset India’s plan as Kohli opted to attack. However, after the lunch break, the 115-run stand was broken when du Plessis stabbed a flatter ball from Ashwin only to get an inside edge onto his pad and Ajinkya Rahane at short leg taking a sharp catch. If India though they could get an opening, they were made to wait. Quinton de Kock, who smashed two fifties in the T20Is, continued his good form.Elgar launched Ravindra Jadeja over deep midwicket and the jubilation shown by him highlighted how keen he was to do well in India. In 2015, Elgar was confounded by the spin of Ashwin but four years on, he had played him superbly and had notched up his 12th ton overall. Having reached the landmark, both left-handers proceeded to counterattack and erase the deficit. De Kock effortlessly went past 50 and Elgar also notched up his second 150-plus score. India were running out of ideas and suddenly, South Africa sensed that they could turn the tables on Virat Kohli’s side. However, on 160, Elgar top-edged a slog sweep of Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara took a good catch at deep midwicket to end his epic vigil. The wicket was Jadeja’s 200th in Tests and he became the quickest left-arm spinner to reach the landmark. Also Read | Dean Elgar Hits Maiden Ton Against India, South Africa Fight In Vizag TestFollowing Elgar’s dismissal, de Kock neared his ton and he notched up his century in a similar way as Elgar, with a six. Ashwin floated a delivery on off stump and de Kock powered it over wide long off for his first ton against India. However, the bowler had the last laugh and when he sent back de Kock and Philander, he had picked up his 27th five-wicket haul. Also Read | Quinton de Kock Smashes Fifth Century, Continues Great Form On India TourSouth Africa are still trailing by 117 runs at the end of day 3. However, when one looks at how Elgar and de Kock countered the spinners in conditions which suited them, South Africa’s fight in Vizag exorcised the ghosts of 2015 in a spectacular way. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Remembering Guyana’s first World boxing champion!

first_img…Andrew ‘Six Heads’ Lewis five years after his deathMAY 4, 2015, the boxing fraternity plunged into mourning after news that Andrew ‘Six Heads’ Lewis died in the vicinity of Covent Garden, on the East Bank of Demerara. He was 44-years old.Andrew “Six Heads” Lewis after winning the WBA World Welterweight Title by defeating James Page.With his casket draped in the Golden Arrowhead and the WBA welterweight belt resting on top of it, Guyana’s first World boxing champion, Andrew ‘Six Heads’ Lewis said goodbye to his many fans. Lewis made his final ‘hooray’ on May 14, 2015, as the man who many will remember for his famous 7th round TKO win over American James Page on February 17, 2001, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.Reports stated that the former World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion was riding his bicycle, heading to a popular ‘coconut’ spot near his home – a place he visits daily – when he was struck from behind by a motor car.A resident of Albouystown, Lewis was remembered not only for his exploits in the ring, but for his kindness; a man that would give his last to someone if he believed that the person needed it more than he did.Lewis, at the time of his climb to the top, was the number one welterweight contender in the WBA rankings and was undefeated in 20 professional fights, knocking out 18 of his opponents. The beloved Lewis was hunting an achievement that would make him a legend if accomplished.With an entire nation behind him, Lewis went on to win via TKO against Page in the 7th of their 12-round contest.He became his country’s Champion, after great fighters before him, like Patrick Ford, Lennox Blackmore, Terrence Alli, Dennis Andries, Wayne Harris and Andrew Murray (just to name a few) had all failed to do in their illustrious careers.The boy from Albouystown turned ‘Pro’ in 1993, first stepping into the ring against Fitzroy Davidson. Eight years later, he sat on top of the world, immortalised by Guyanese at home and abroad. He would finish his career in 2008, with a ring record of 23 wins, four losses and two draws from 29 outings in the ring.Two years after Lewis’s death (March 24, 2017 to be exact), Manx Powers, the man charged with causing the death of the former World Champion, walked out of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court a free man.Magistrate Fabayo Azore dismissed the charge against Powers, who was on trial for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving, on the grounds that there was not enough evidence against him.last_img read more

Former NBA Star, Oyedeji, Hails Ambode’s Backing for Marathon

first_imgThe former NBA payer was at the office to thank the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, for supporting road races and marathons instead of football.The towering star was received on arrival at the Marathon Office by General Manager Marathon Yusuf Alli, Consultant to the Marathon Bukola Olopade, Head Communications and Media Olukayode Thomas, and Secretary of the Organising Committee, Olumide Bamiduro.Oyedeji does not have anything against football but he believes the sports is getting more than enough attention from government at all levels as well as from sponsors,“I thank Governor Ambode for choosing to support marathons instead of football. Having a marathon in Lagos is a very good development, it will raise the level of our athletes who partake in road races and marathons and bring the best out of them. I am glad and excited to be here to show support for the marathon, Lagos State and Lagos at 50 celebrations,” he said.Oyedeji also posits that marathons and road races are now part of the criteria for assessing global destinations and the Access Bank/Lagos City Marathon has put Lagos on the same level with cities that have international marathons worldwide.“I admire Ambode, he is a great sports lover who takes delight in empowering and developing the youth, he is taking Lagos to a greater heights and making giant strides in all areas of human endeavour.”The founder and president of Olumide Oyedeji Foundation that has empowered close to 50,000 kids in about 15 years from different parts of the world urged the governor to support other sports like VolleyBall, Basketball, Handball, “ and especially Table Tennis, a sport which Lagos was champion of in Nigeria’’.Meanwhile, distribution of kits to participants in the marathon event will commence from February 1, 2017 and end February 9, 2017.According to the GM Alli, runners are to come to Molade Okoya Thomas Hall, venue of the 2017 Access Bank Lagos Marathon Expo with the identification cards to collect their kits. The office will open at 9 am and close at 6pm.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Access/Lagos Marathon*Distribution of kits to begin Feb 1A special visitor came calling at the Access Bank /Lagos City Marathon Office, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere on Tuesday; it was the nation’s former basketball star, Olumide Oyedeji.last_img read more

Eagles Drop Two Places in First FIFA Rankings of 2019

first_imgNigeria’s Super Eagles dropped two places to the 46th position in the first FIFA Rankings released Thursday. The Three-time African champions however retained their last month’s fourth spot in Africa.The drop was expected as the Nigerian senior national team was not involved in any activities to warrant any improvement in the 44th spot they ended the year with.With two matches lined up for Eagles in March, Nigeria is expected to rank better in the next edition of the grading scheduled to be published by the world football governing body on April 4. Even with nothing at stake for Nigeria in the dead-rubber last AFCON 2019 qualifier against Seychelles in Asaba next month, Eagles stand to reap points with good display.Few days after the clash with Seychelles, Super Eagles will begin their AFCON 2019 preparations with a high-profile clash with Pharaohs of Egypt at the same Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.Both Seychelles and Egypt are ranked 189th and 57th in the world respectively.Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo are the top five countries in the CAF region.Similarly, there were no changes in the top 20 of the global ranking with Belgium, France, Brazil, Croatia and England the top five teams in that order.Top Ten African Teams1) Senegal2) Tunisia3) Morocco4) Nigeria5) DR Congo6) Ghana7) Cameroon8) Egypt9) Burkina Faso10) MaliShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Syracuse alumna Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, is still pushing for change 50 years later

first_img Published on April 19, 2017 at 12:34 am Contact Andrew: | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+ On Monday, 70-year-old Kathrine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon for the ninth time in five decades. Fifty years ago, while she was a Syracuse University undergraduate, she became the first woman to ever run it officially.The Boston Marathon had 13,698 female entrants in 2017, with women making up about 46 percent of the field. Switzer was the lone woman in 1967.“I was just trying to run,” Switzer said, “that’s all I wanted to do.”Arnie Briggs, Switzer’s trainer, didn’t think a woman could run 26.2 miles. After Switzer proved that she’d be able to finish, he let her compete. Switzer had no intent of making a statement in 1967, but race official Jock Semple attacked her, making her run symbolic.When someone exclaimed they saw a female runner — Switzer — from the back of a press vehicle early in the race, Semple dismounted and ran up behind Switzer, trying to rip her bib off.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSince Semple tried to wrest the now-famous “261” bib off her, Switzer has led a renaissance for women in athletics. Because of Switzer, women were officially allowed to run the Boston Marathon starting in 1972. The Olympic Games adopted the women’s marathon in 1984. In 2015, Switzer started building her new foundation, “261 Fearless.”In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Switzer was likely the best woman runner in the world. She won the New York City Marathon in 1974, finished second in Boston in 1975 — setting a personal record of 2:51:37 — and was named Female Runner of the Decade (1966-1976) by Runner’s World Magazine.“She became the first registered woman to run in the thing,” said retiring columnist Bud Poliquin, who has covered Syracuse sports for 36 years, “to compete in the thing, to finish the thing. Here we are all these years later and more than half of the Boston Marathon field will be comprised of women.“You know, all those breadcrumbs lead to her door.”She took to Boston’s streets, just like she did 50 years earlier. The famous course laid in front of her, the same as a half century ago. The Wellesley Scream Tunnel, Heartbreak Hill and the finish mark at Boylston Street, spanning the thoroughfare.The route and goal stayed the same. At 20, it was because of the attack. At 70, she wondered if her body could hold up.With 26.2 miles ahead of her, and 50 years behind her, Switzer just wanted to finish.Courtesy of the Boston HeraldTwo years ago, Switzer realized her bib number, “261,” was becoming a symbol. Some people would write it on their arms, others on the backs of their shirts. Some even inked the digits on their body.“If someone’s going to tattoo themselves with my number,” Switzer said, “it must mean something.”She launched “261 Fearless” in 2015 with the goal of helping women around the world feel the strength and empowerment Switzer does when she runs. Throughout the race in 1967, Switzer contemplated why she was attacked, why there were no other female runners and what she would do about it all. When she crossed the finish line, she knew.“I realized it’s because women themselves were afraid to try and they only needed an opportunity,” Switzer said.Rather than wait for someone to make opportunities, Switzer did it herself. In 1969, Switzer created the Syracuse Track Club, which still exists as the Syracuse Chargers. Today, the Chargers are one of the largest running clubs in New York.Switzer’s work with the Chargers taught her how to advocate, organize and get sponsored. Eventually, Switzer undertook her biggest task yet: Getting the women’s marathon in the Olympics. The longest event in the Olympics had just moved from 800 meters to 1500 meters. At the pace the Olympics had been adopting women’s races, she said it would have taken until 2012 for the women’s marathon to be incorporated. She called it a “pipe dream.”While lobbying the International Olympic Committee, Switzer wrote a business proposal to Avon Cosmetics. The company brought her on board, creating a global program of races to put pressure on the IOC indirectly. The notion was to show women around the world were all capable.“People don’t believe that they’re allowed to do something until it is sometimes mandated,” Switzer said. “So, for instance, women 100 years ago didn’t think they deserved the right to vote, but when it was finally mandated, they did vote.”Even after a marathon championship series of 400 races in 27 different countries featuring over a million women, including races in London and Paris that eventually turned into those respective cities’ official marathons, nothing changed.Switzer took her efforts along with statistics, international representation and medical data to Peter Ueberroth, who planned the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Switzer pitched Ueberroth about how women’s running would bring in massive new revenues to the games.The two agreed, and the women’s marathon was approved for the 1984 Olympics in a 1981 special vote.“I’d put K’s impact on women in sport right up there with Billie Jean King and the women’s 1999 World Cup soccer team,” said Laurie Orlando, CBS executive and Syracuse alumna in an e-mail.“I don’t have kids of my own,” Switzer said, “quite on purpose. But every time I see a woman runner, I feel like she’s one of mine.”Emma Comtois | Digital Design EditorIt took Cathy Troisi 15 tries to get Switzer into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.That idea first popped into Troisi’s mind after seeing Switzer speak on a panel of women marathoners at the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon in 1997. Beside fellow panelists Sara Mae Berman, Bobbi Gibb and Nina Kuscsik, Switzer stood out.“Kathrine needs to be in the (National) Women’s Hall of Fame,” Troisi thought as she drove back to her home in Seneca Falls, New York.Troisi, who didn’t know Switzer before seeing her speak, linked up with Switzer through a mutual friend. The mutual friend assured Switzer that Troisi wasn’t “some stalker,” and Troisi began working on the application.Initially, Troisi thought Switzer would be a shoo-in. After each failed attempt, Troisi amended the application to fit Switzer’s new accomplishments. Every year, she shrunk the font and struggled to find anything worth dropping from the list.“Pretty soon she’s getting pissed off because she thinks that I should really be in the National Women’s Hall of Fame,” Switzer said of Troisi.At a certain point, Troisi even set up a succession plan for friends to continue nominating Switzer if something were to happen to Troisi.Fortunately, it never came to that, as Switzer was officially inducted in 2011 alongside Coretta Scott King, Lilly Ledbetter and eight others.On April 6, 2017, Poliquin placed Switzer at No. 16 in the Syracuse University sports Top 25 all-time greats. She is the only woman to make the list.“We weren’t trying to be politically correct,” Poliquin said. “We were trying to be correct. She becomes, in my mind, the No. 1 noteworthy, female athlete to come out of Syracuse.”Courtesy of Hagen HopkinsSome people do yoga to clear their mind. Switzer runs. Some people lift weights to let out pent up anger and aggression. Switzer runs. Some people pray. Switzer runs.While she runs, Switzer goes through her “gratitude list” — all the things she’s grateful for. Everything from “It’s such a nice day out,” to “I’m lucky to be alive.” It’s her way to stay humble and keep a sense of reality.But on a training run in 1967, no such joy was to be found. Switzer was on an 18-mile run with her trainer Briggs when she hit what runners and athletes often refer to as, “the wall.”At 16 miles, Briggs asked Switzer why she was walking. She hadn’t even realized. Two miles later, just as the finish approached, Switzer stopped, laid down on the curb, and fell asleep.“I’d obviously just bonked, completely bonked,” Switzer said.She had never run 26.2 miles before. Only a few weeks later, Switzer and Briggs were out for a full marathon practice run, and Switzer felt so good they decided to go for 31 miles. They made it, and Briggs immediately passed out.The next day, he and Switzer signed up for the Boston Marathon.Signing her name “K.V. Switzer,” she didn’t realize the race authorities wouldn’t figure out her gender. It wasn’t even a question on the application. On the day of the race, Briggs picked up their bibs. It was a dreary April day, and Switzer opted for the warmth of her sweatshirt instead of a colorful tank top.Nothing stopped her. Semple couldn’t, and four hours and 20 minutes after starting, Switzer had made history. She just didn’t know she’d be doing it 50 years later, too.“We were simply trying to follow the rules,” Switzer said. “The opposite happened though. I mean, it upset everything.”This year, the bib number “261” was awarded for the last time in the Boston Marathon to “Switzer, Kathrine V.” After she finished in 4:44:31, just 24 minutes slower than her original time 50 years ago, the number was done. Commentslast_img read more

Susanna Dinnage u-turns on Premier League leadership

first_img StumbleUpon Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Successful summer leaves Leadstar positive over industry’s recovery August 18, 2020 Related Articles Share Submit Issuing a short statement this weekend, the governance of the English Premier League (EPL) has confirmed that Susanna Dinnage will not be taking on the role of Premier League Chief Executive in 2019.Last November, EPL governance had announced the inbound appointment of Dinnage as first female Chief Executive of the Premier League replacing outgoing incumbent Richard Scudamore, who ended his 19-year leadership tenure this December.Entering 2019, the EPL was set to operate under a realigned leadership framework, with media executive Dinnage the former President of Discovery Networks for UK & Ireland acting as league Chief Executive, supported by the pending appointment of a new Non-Executive Chair.“Despite her commitment to the Premier League in early November, Susanna Dinnage has now advised the Nominations Committee that she will not be taking up the position of Chief Executive” details the EPL’s media release.“The Committee has reconvened its search and is talking to candidates. There will be no further comment until an appointment is made”.In previous EPL communications, Dinnage had been branded as ‘the outstanding candidate to lead the Premier League’, by Chelsea FC Chairman Bruce Buck, the Chair of the EPL’s Nomination Committee.Sports stakeholders will be monitoring the EPL’s leadership search in 2019, as the world’s richest football league enters a disruptive period navigating Brexit complexities,  audience engagement with new media verticals, and dealing with the rising costs of match day prices. Share Spotlight ups matchday commentary reach and capacity for new EPL Season  August 21, 2020last_img read more

Paralympic Games ‘return home’ to UK

first_imgThe Queen has declared the London 2012 Paralympics officially open, during a spectacular opening ceremony watched by some 80,000 spectators.Britain’s first Paralympic Games gold medallist, Margaret Maughan, 84, had the honour of lighting the cauldron.Paralympics chief Lord Coe told the crowd: “Prepare to be inspired, prepare to be dazzled, prepare to be moved.”The Queen said: “The Games are returning to the country where they first began, more than 60 years ago.”Earlier, athletes paraded around the Olympic Stadium, with ParalympicsGB entering last to huge cheers.‘Games to remember’ The opening ceremony, co-directed by Jenny Sealey and Bradley Hemmings, signalled the start of 11 days of competition by 4,200 athletes from 164 countries, including more than 300 athletes from the home nation.Wheelchair basketball, shooting, swimming and track cycling are among the events set to feature on the opening day.Lord Coe told the crowd at the east London stadium: “It is my great honour to say welcome home to the Paralympic Games.”He said Britain “was ready” and the crowds in attendance would be “unprecedented”, adding: “These will be a Games to remember.”Eight members of the British under-22 wheelchair basketball team were given the honour of carrying the Paralympic flag into the stadium. It was raised by members of the armed forces, before the Queen declared the Games open. British swimmer Liz Johnson, a medallist from Beijing 2008, wheelchair rugby judge Richard Allcroft and David Hunter, who is coaching the ParalympicsGB equestrian team, each stepped forward to take the official oaths on behalf of competitors and officials.At the close of the ceremony, 24-year-old Royal Marine Commando Joe Townsend – an aspiring Olympic triathlete, who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan – descended on a zip wire into the stadium from the top of the nearby Orbit tower.He handed the flame to David Clarke, a member of the ParlympicsGB five-a-side football team, who passed the torch to Ms Maughan, who won gold in archery at the 1960 Rome Paralympics.She lit a tiny flame on the ground, igniting more than 200 copper petals. Long stems then rose towards each other to form a cauldron, signifying unity.‘Big bang’ The ParalympicsGB athletes earlier entered the stadium to David Bowie’s Heroes, led by Peter Norfolk, the two-time Paralympic wheelchair tennis champion, who carried the union jack. He later described it as a “wow moment”.In one heart-stopping moment during the show, six Paralympians and former competitors – including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson – were flown into the stadium in golden wheelchairs.Disabled ex-serviceman David Rawlins flew a twin-engined Tecnam P2006 light aircraft over the stadium to kick off the proceedings.A sphere ignited the “big bang” – something which Prof Hawking, a world-renowned physicist who has motor neurone disease, has written about extensively – to start the show and fireworks lit up the stadium.Professor Hawking and actor Sir Ian McKellen played prominent roles in the ceremony, which also featured a host of deaf and disabled artists, local children and performers newly-trained in circus skills. Some 3,000 volunteers took part in the event, which organisers entitled Enlightenment and said was “profoundly about science and humanity”.Throughout the ceremony, Prof Hawking acted as a guide to Miranda – a character from William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, who was central to the show – while actor Sir Ian played Prospero, another character from the play.Inspired by uncertain British weather, umbrellas were also a big theme in the ceremony, which was described as “both spectacular and deeply human” by organisers.The Queen was welcomed by Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, before the union jack was carried in by representatives of the armed forces.It is the first time the monarch has officiated at the openings of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Teams from all 164 countries paraded into the stadium to music mixed and played by three London-based DJs.The Paralympic torch began its journey in Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire, the spiritual home of the Paralympic Games, on Tuesday night.It was carried by 580 torchbearers in total, and after being carried past some of London’s most famous landmarks, was used to light a scaled-down version of the Olympic cauldron.The torch had earlier been delayed but Games organisers Locog confirmed the flame arrived at the stadium in time to light the cauldron.UK Sport and the British Paralympic Association have set a minimum target of 103 medals this time from at least 12 sports, including swimming, athletics and rowing and hopes are high that ParalympicsGB will emulate the success of Team GB. Britain finished second in the medals table at the 2008 Games in Beijing, winning 42 golds, 29 silvers and 31 bronzes. China were top with 211 medals, of which 89 were gold.More than 2.4 million tickets for events have already been sold, including half a million to overseas visitors.In a statement released before she opened the Games, the Queen said: “It is with tremendous pride that the people of London and the United Kingdom welcome the world to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.“We look forward to celebrating the uplifting spirit which distinguishes the Paralympic Games from other events, drawing on Britain’s unique sporting heritage.”last_img read more