In my role as Minister for Disabled People, I see the 2012 Games as a way to drive further changes – inclusive and welcoming facilities, transformed attitudes towards disabled people, a raised profile for disabled sport and improved accessibility in London and across the UK. There is also an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy of the greatest Paralympic Games the world has ever seen, and in the country that created the Paralympics in the first place.
The Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games were truly memorable – a great spectacle for the world. I know that a wealth of experience has been passed on to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), and we look forward to the greatest Games ever in 2012.
As we reach the ‘Three Years to Go’ mark, I must offer congratulations to everyone involved in the preparation of the London 2012 Paralympic Games – organisers, venue-builders, sports administrators, coaches, athletes and everyone else behind the scenes.
The 2012 Games – both Olympic and Paralympic – are a symbol of just what we can achieve when we believe in ourselves. We can be proud that LOCOG's planning for the Paralympic Games is fully integrated with the Olympic Games, which is a first for an Organising Committee.
I can't wait until the evening of 29 August 2012, when the performers will be nervously waiting to enter London's new Stadium to open the Paralympic Games. That moment will be full of anticipation and excitement as we begin to host one of the greatest sporting events on earth, showing the whole world what London can offer.
We should all be proud of our fantastic achievements by backing our Paralympians at London 2012.