In 100 days’ time, the most watched, most accessible and most integrated Paralympics of all time will begin in London.

{FILE IMAGE VIA: BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION, B'DOS & E.C.} This is the first time the UK will have hosted the Paralympics, and our country is now recognised as having started the Paralympic movement. This is the first Games where the planning and organisation of the Olympics and Paralympics has been fully integrated: from design and infrastructure to open spaces and public transport.

Jeremy Browne, FCO Minister with responsibility for the Olympics and Paralympics said:

“This Paralympics will be the biggest, best, most celebrated and most watched that has ever taken place. In Britain we are the inventors of the Paralympics as a concept and we are looking forward to welcoming athletes from around the world to compete in the Games. It’s going to be incredibly high profile and the performances will be inspiring. London’s 2012 Paralympic Games will send an important message around the world about the ability of people to overcome adversity and achieve genuine excellence.”

Chris Holmes, Director for Paralympic Integration, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) said:

“We have an extraordinary opportunity in London, to stage a sensational Paralympic Games. If we get this right the message is clear: a message about possibility, a message of potential, a message of hope resonating around the country and around the globe. We want to use the spotlight of the London 2012 Paralympic Games to shine a light of hope around the globe, to include rather than exclude, to focus on the can rather than cannot, to look to the person not the preconception.”

Here in the Caribbean, during a recent visit to Barbados, Minister Henry Bellingham met with Paralympic and special Olympic athletes at an event at the Barbados National Stadium. Paralympic and Special Olympic athletes competed in a 100 metre race and the minister presented prizes to the winning competitors. Mr Bellingham proudly stated that London was ready to host the greatest Olympics in history and that preparations were ahead of time and under budget. He looked forward to welcoming people from across the Caribbean to participate in and enjoy the games. The minister also took the opportunity to launch the British High Commission’s London 2012 photo competition encouraging the people of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to “get snapping” on the theme Caribbean Sporting Endeavour.

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