Warm welcome for British team
Great Britain's team are welcomed into the Olympic Village
Great Britain's 300-strong Paralympic team were officially welcomed to the London 2012 athletes' village on Tuesday with an energetic show where they were declared champions even before competition commences.
Ahead of Wednesday's opening ceremony of the XIV Paralympic Games, the British team were among the last of the 4,280 competitors from 166 nations to be greeted by an eclectic show of music - including an adapted version of Queen's 'We are the champions' - and dance as Olympics minister Hugh Robertson and London mayor Boris Johnson watched on.
Wheelchair tennis player Jamie Burdekin, who is set to play in the Quad singles event at his second Games, said: "I'd just woken up from a little nap and I was blown away. I'm not really the theatre-going type and I feel officially welcomed now to London 2012.
"It was a lovely welcome. I'm sure it's only set the standard for the rest of the tournament. Everyone's in the mood and can't wait to get going."
Burdekin won Quad doubles bronze with Peter Norfolk in Beijing but will not be taking part in the pairs competition at Eton Manor. Two-time Paralympic champion Norfolk, known as the 'Quadfather', is set to lead the British team into the Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony and Burdekin is excited.
Burdekin, who is set to be in competition with Norfolk on the court, said: "He's been my mate for years and there's no-one on the team more proud than myself.
"As good as he is I'm looking to upset him this week. Last time we played I beat him. I took him out this year and I took the world number one, David Wagner, out as well.
"I'm peaking at the right time and hopefully people are starting to worry about me when I go on court. I've trained for the gold."
Goalball player Joe Dodson enjoyed the reception which gave him a taster of an opening ceremony which he will miss. The British team are in action in the Copperbox at 9am on Thursday morning against Lithuania.
Dodson said: "It was very captivating and a good advert for what the Games is going to be - very energetic and very loud. We play at nine o'clock on Thursday morning. We have to be up at six o'clock. We've got the closing ceremony where we know we definitely will be and hopefully, if all things go right, with a medal round the neck, but we have to take every game as it comes."
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