Fans are bracing themselves for a daily scramble for Paralympics tickets, as organisers gradually release more than 200,000 contingency seats over the next fortnight. The Games organiser, Locog, will "drip-feed" the tickets on to London 2012 website, rather than make them all available in one go.
Previously, the site had struggled to cope when a big ticket launch took place. The contingency tickets will be for every Paralympic sport, including athletics, swimming and wheelchair rugby, which are currently sold out.
Day passes to the Olympic Park in Stratford, which give access to specific seating areas for sports including rugby, wheelchair tennis and basketball, will also be extremely limited. Locog hopes to ensure there are no empty seats, which may be difficult as Paralympics sessions are longer, and spectators can use their tickets to go in and out of lots of different events.
Royal Mail has bowed to pressure and will issue stamps commemorating every Paralympic gold medal won by Team GB, following an approach from the Shadow Olympics Minister, Tessa Jowell.
Giant cauldrons will be lit on the four highest peaks in Britain to mark the start of the the 24-hour Paralympic torch relay, which is significantly smaller than the procession that preceded the Olympic Games.
Officials insist it will nonetheless be a dramatic start to the Paralympics, which runs from 29 August to 9 September.
Celebrations will begin on 22 August, when groups of Scouts will simultaneously climb Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Slieve Donard to light cauldrons using a spark from a metal rod struck against a rough surface. Flames from each of the cauldrons will be placed in a miner's lamp and transferred to Britain's four capital cities. The flames will be united at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire – the home of National Spinal Injuries Centre and where the concept of the Paralympics was born – before heading to London for the start of the 24-hour relay on 28 August. A team of 580 torchbearers will carry the silver torch along a 92-mile route throught the six Olympic boroughs in London, as well as landmarks, including Lord's Cricket Ground, Piccadilly Circus and the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing made famous by The Beatles.
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