1. ITV Report

Countdown to the Paralympics

London's Paralympics is expected to attract more viewers than ever before Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

London's Paralympics is expected to attract more viewers, athletes and competing nations than ever before.

Next Wednesday, the opening ceremony will signal the start of 11 days of competition, beamed to millions around the world. Almost 2.3 million of the 2.5 million tickets available have been sold and organisers are whispering that it could be the first ever sell-out.

Unlike the Olympic flame, which was lit in Greece, the Paralympic flame will be created from four national flames.

Tuesday 28 August

The four national flames will be united at Stoke Mandeville - the spiritual home of the Paralympic movement on Tuesday 28 August.

Wednesday 29 August

From there the flame will make a 24 hour overnight journey to London for the opening ceremony.

Our Olympics Correspondent Simon Harris looks ahead to the games:

London 2012 Paralympic Games facts:

  • 20 sports and 21 disciplines
  • 20 venues
  • 2.2 million tickets
  • 4,200 athletes
  • 503 medal events
  • 6,500 media and broadcasters
  • 11 competition days
  • 1,223 Games officials
  • 174 National Paralympic Committees
  • 2,767 team officials
  • 1,250 anti-doping samples

There will also be a record number of women taking part in these Paralympic Games.

A total of 1,513 female athletes will compete across 18 sports, which is more than double the 700 female athletes who took part in the Barcelona 1992 Games two decades ago.

The official flag of the 2012 Paralympic Games has been raised in Downing Street. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

David Cameron has predicted that the dedication and persistence of Britain's Paralympians is about to pay off after the official flag of the 2012 Games was raised in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister wished UK competitors luck and vowed to cheer them on at the biggest Paralympics yet, which opens on August 29.

The Paralympic Games began in Britain and our continued commitment to them is clear as we approach the start of the biggest Paralympic Games yet - with more countries, more athletes and more spectators than ever before.

– David Cameron
Officially called the Agitos, the Paralympic symbol replaces the Olympic rings that have been flying over Number 10. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

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