Lord Sebastian Coe is confident that the Paralympics will prove to be just as successful as the Olympic Games.
The chairman of the London 2012 organising committee has challenged the home nation's Paralympians to set new standards in "sport, human achievement, daring and imagination".
He said at the opening ceremony: "Welcome to a city and a country transformed and transfixed by the joy and greatness of sport.
"We will provide a grand and global stage that will enable the athletes to inspire the world."
The Paralympic Games opening ceremony was held in London this evening in front of a sellout crowd. Professor Stephen Hawking and actor Sir Ian McKellen took part in the show, with the Queen looking on from the stands.
The Paralympic Games commence tomorrow.