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Where the games began: On 23rd July 1948, the day when the Olympic Games began at Wembley Stadium, spinal injury patients – for the most part injured Second World War soliders – met in the gardens of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury, for the first ever Stoke Mandeville Games. Their doctor, Ludwig Guttmann, had battled all manner of establishment figures to stage the games, which he recognised as crucial to restoring both his patients' health and their self-esteem. His efforts were noticed by the International Olympic Committee.

Key moments from the Paralympics past

How an Aylesbury doctor's idea to help injured servicemen recover from the Second World War spawned a festival of sport

Our team is a model for other generations,’ say Dominique
(left) and Jean

Tutsis and Hutus unite to bury memory of Rwanda’s civil war

Dominique and Jean bear the scars of a brutal conflict. Then they were enemies. Now they find themselves in the same volleyball team – and a friendship has blossomed

Paralympic profile: Steve Brown, wheelchair rugby

Great Britain’s Wheelchair Rugby captain Steve Brown has a wicked sense of humour. When a Blue Peter presenter took part in a training session with the squad two years ago, he advised him to “lean forward when you’ve got the ball, to protect it.” Blue Peter shouldn’t have taken that tip at face value.

Paralympic profile: Hannah Cockroft, wheelchair racing

For Team GB’s athletics team, the Beijing Paralympics were a relative disappointment, resulting in only two gold medals. Hannah Cockroft, 20, took up wheelchair  racing around the time those Games were taking place, after being introduced to the sport by Tanni Grey-Thompson’s husband Ian, and in the intervening four years has broken 21 world records. Safe to say, the T34 world champion at 100m and 200m is one of Britain’s best track and field medal hopes this time around.

Arthur Williams

'If you’ve the chance to be a voice for paralympians, you have to seize the day’

Interview with Arthur Williams, sports presenter

Paralympic athlete Dedeline Kimbata (right) is competing in the 1500m event for the Democratic Republic of Congo

Kindness of a stranger lets Congolese woman race

A Congolese woman whose legs were blown off by a landmine will compete in the London Paralympics after a British woman gave her a top-of-the-line racing chair.

Jordan withdraws athletes from Paralympics over alleged sex offences during pre-Games training in Northern Ireland

Three members of the Jordanian Paralympic squad charged with sex offences will not be taking part in the Games, organisers have confirmed.

Paralympians from Russia arrive at Heathrow

Paralympians arrive as the flame is kindled

Seven-feet-tall basketballers are perusing the merchandise store. Kenyan middle-distance runners are having their hair done in the beauty salon. With under a week until the Paralympic Games' opening ceremony, the athletes' village is open for business, again.

Paralympians from Russia arrive at Heathrow

Village people bring Stratford back to life for the Paralympics

It all went quiet for a bit – but now the Paralympic athletes are arriving in force. Tom Peck meets a few medal hopefuls

Tony Nicklinson's wife, Jane, holds a photograph of her husband before his stroke

Tony Nicklinson: Right-to-die campaigner who took his case to the High Court

Locked-in syndrome is a cruel condition by which a person is able to think clearly, but as a result of paralysis is unable to move or interact normally with the world. Usually the result of a stroke or other brain trauma, the syndrome was first brought to wide public attention through the film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), which told the story of the French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby.

100,000 Olympic Park tickets on sale

A total of 100,000 tickets to go to the Olympic Park during the London 2012 Paralympics have gone on sale.

King of Jordan intervenes in Paralympian sex case in Northern Ireland

The king of Jordan is taking a personal interest in the case of three members of his country's Paralympic team accused of sex offences during pre-Games training in Northern Ireland, a court heard today.

Stadium: The failure to secure a permanent tenant for the £486m Olympic Stadium has been a major hiccup in Locog’s legacy aims. Earlier efforts ended in High Court recriminations involving West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient. Athletics was to be at its core – a promise originally made by Lord Coe during the bid – and the running track will remain. Mayor Boris Johnson took the venue into public ownership and it will host the 2015 IAA F World Championships. Meanwhile a new bidding process is under way. A football tenant, almost certainly West Ham, remains the most probable outcome despite a late challenge from Formula 1 and an application to use the pared-back venue for a sports business university

Fans get extra 200,000 tickets for Paralympics

The flame for the Paralympic torch will be kindled at the summit of each home nation's highest peak

Teacher loses £5m claim for damages after being paralysed in welly-wanging accident

A teacher who was left paralysed after breaking his neck in a freak welly-wanging accident on a school trip has lost his High Court claim for more than £5 million in damages.

Interest in 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius has led to a surge in Paralympic ticket sales

Interest in 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius pushes up London 2012 Paralympic ticket sales

Ten of thousands of tickets have been sold in the run up to the Paralympics as people flock to see “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius and other Paralympians compete at London 2012.

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Day In a Page

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The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

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Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
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Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

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