The Paralympic Fest – ‘what a moving event’ – Kirsten Rawlins gives her take on the historic occasion

Paralympic Flame Celebration in Aylesbury town centre - the torch arrives in Market Square
Paralympic Flame Celebration in Aylesbury town centre - the torch arrives in Market Square
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Tuesday was a momentous occasion for Aylesbury, marking a point in history which will not be forgotten for decades to come – at least not for me.

I was lucky enough to attend the Paralympic Flame Festival at Stoke Mandeville Stadium – the centre of the action watched by viewers from across the world.

And it truly made me proud to live here.

With incredible performances from dancers, acrobats and gymnasts, the audience was captivated right from the start, and I, quite frankly, was stunned at the quality. Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the spiritual home of the Paralympics, where Sir Ludwig Guttmann founded what is now the second biggest sporting event more than 60 years ago, really did itself proud.

I was also moved by those who attended the event –it was truly incredible to see so many people of a variety of ages and physical abilities come together as one to celebrate the occasion. And one little boy really touched my heart – a beautiful, but severely disabled youngster, aged around the age of eight, who, it seemed, had the time of his life when greeted and hugged by Paralympic mascot Mandeville.

At the end of the night, when the national torches arrived, forged into one, it was a true moment of symbolic unification, enjoyed by all who eagerly looked on as history was made.