Angie Malone MBE and Aileen Neilson at Stoke Mandeville Stadium

In Pictures: 2022 Paralympic Games flame lighting ceremony takes place at Aylesbury stadium

International delegates, local athletes and county officials gathered for the special ceremony

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 5:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 6:02 pm

A special torch lighting ceremony to launch the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Winter Games took place at Stoke Mandeville Stadium yesterday (1 March).

In recognition of Stoke Mandeville's special role in forming the Paralympic movement a Flame Lighting Ceremony was held at 5:30pm.

Often referred to as the birthplace of the Paralympics, work conducted by Sir Ludwig Guttmann at Stoke Mandeville Hospital is seen as integral to developing what is now an international juggernaut.

It was his Stoke Mandeville Games taking place in 1948, which formed the basis for the now internationally-championed games, featuring athletes from all around the world.

International officials, local athletes, Bucks leaders gathered for a virtual relay linked to the global event in China.

Angie Malone MBE and Aileen Neilson were given the torch-lighting duties, both represented Great Britain at previous Paralympics.

The two Scots won bronze medals together competing in curling at the Sochi games in 2014.

Zheng Zeguang, Chinese Ambassador to the UK; Anna Scott-Marshall, communications director for the British Paralympic Association; and the Lord Lieutenant for Bucks Countess Elizabeth Howe all spoke ahead of the flame lighting.

President of the International Paralympic Committee Andrew Parsons also addressed the crowd yesterday via a videolink.

Local rugby team, Stoke Mandeville Maulers, completed a skills showcase during the official presentation.

Further entertainment was provided by Step Change Studios, an award-winning dance company, which champions diversity.

Aylesbury-based photographer Derek Pelling captured the occasion, you can view some of his work in our photo gallery below:

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