The London 2012 Paralympic Games opened with a dramatic and moving ceremony that had starring roles for the Queen, Professor Stephen Hawking - and a double amputee Afghan war veteran who rode a zip wire into the Olympic Stadium.

The Mayor of London has hailed the 300-strong London 2012 ParalympicsGB team as Britain’s ‘best ever’.

We look at some of the West County's athletes.

Ben Procter

James Crisp, Jonathan Fox and Ben Procter Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/Press Association Images

London 2012 will be Ben Procter's first Paralympic Games.

The 22-year-old Newquay boy competes in the 200m freestyle and 100m backstroke events. Although he now trains in Manchester, until last year he swam at Newquay Cormorants and Truro City. He's also an honorary member of Saddleworth Swimming Club, where he first started swimming. Ben is also a lifeguard.

Ben secured the second fastest time of his career at the 2012 British Swimming Championships in London where he went on to win silver in the 200m Freestyle.

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Cornish swimmer Jonathan Fox competes in the men's S7 100m backstroke, 400m freestyle, 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle.

Jonathan was introduced to the sport in 2001, at a Regional Disability Swimming meeting. He trains with both the Newquay Comorants and at Manchester HPC. London will be his second Paralympic Games. He took silver in today's event in Beijing.

I think Beijing was amazing but now we have swum in the Aquatics Centre and experienced the atmosphere with less than half the audience, I think I'll be ecstatic to walk out in front of that crowd at London 2012.

Anthony Stephens

Anthony Stephens Credit: ElizabethDalziel/AP/Press Association Images

Somerset athlete Anthony Stephens enters the pool for the 50m freestyle swimming.

26-year-old Anthony learnt to swim at the age of just three. He took part in his first national competition at the age of eight. London 2012 will be his third Paralympic Games, and he currently holds a total of five Paralympic medals.

Anthony is originally from Highridge. He now lives in Swansea, where he qualified as a motor mechanic in 2008.

Adrian 'Bunny' Bunclark

Adrian 'Bunny' Bunclark Credit: ITV Westcountry

Adrian Bunclark, known by all on the team as Bunny, is competing in the men’s

ten metre men's air pistol event.

Bunny, who lives in Kingsteignton, got involved in the sport after his wife Jane bought him a shooting lesson as a Christmas present in 2005. Whilst the objective of that first lesson was the theory and skill required for rifle shooting, Bunny was advised to try shooting a pistol instead. After the first 20 shots, it was clear that Bunny had a natural talent for the sport and he decided to pursue it further.

His first major competition was the 2007 British Championships in Bisley, where he won gold. Bunny was in his 40s when he discovered shooting, so proves you are never too old to learn a new skill.