The Paralympic Heritage flame was lit at Stoke Mandeville Stadium on Friday September 2, and will join with five other flames from Brazil for the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on September 7.
The flame was lit by wheelchair racer Baronness Tanni Grey Thompson and skier Kelly Gallagher MBE and was the only Paralympic flame event outside of Brazil.

Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, is considered internationally as the birthplace of the Paralympic and disability sports movement. In 1948 the first Stoke Mandeville games were held by Dr Ludwig Guttman, a doctor treating people with spinal injuries at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

The ceremony paid tribute to Dr Guttman, who was later knighted, recounting the pioneer spirit of the time.

The even theme was Seeds of Diversity, with Diversity being one of the key pillars of the Paralympic movement.

The ceremony was attended by 1,500 people and was broadcast live on Channel 4. Footage from it will also be used during the opening ceremony in Rio.

The flame later was seen at Vale Park in Aylesbury where a carnival was held. A total of 450 local volunteers carried the flame, but it was also passed around by many other members of the public.

Ceremonies have been held at Stoke Mandeville to celebrate its contribution to the paralympic movement before London 2012 and Sochi 2014. It has been decided that a Heritage Flame ceremony will take place at Stoke Mandeville before every Paralympic Games.

Volunteers from the area were recruited to take part in the ceremony, directed by Bradley Hemmings, who co-directed the London 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony.

Ambassador of Brazil to the UK His Excellency Eduardo dos Santos invited people to join Brazil Day, a celebration of the Paralympic Games in Trafalgar Square, on 10 September.

“I pay tribute to the people from Stoke Mandeville who organised in 1948 the games that constitute the seed of the Paralympic movement. Brazil is very proud to host the fifteenth Paralympic Games, the first ever to take place in South America.”