South West Wales

Paralympic flame in Swansea ahead of Games

The Paralympic flame has completed its tour of Swansea ahead of Wednesday's Games opening ceremony in London.

Disabled athletes took part in a mini-relay across the city centre from Princess Way to the leaisure centre which ended at 16:30 BST.

Earlier, the flame visited the civic centre, Dunvant rugby club and later the Wales National Pool.

Swansea-based athletes Ellie Simmonds and Paul Karabadak are medal hopefuls at the 10-day event.

Demonstrations of Paralympic sports were held in the city during late afternoon.

'Inspirational'

The flame is a splinter flame taken from the Cardiff cauldron lit on Monday morning.

A similar event was held in Colwyn Bay, Conwy, on Monday, when the flame was flown from Cardiff by helicopter.

On Monday night, hundreds braved wind and rain in Cardiff Bay for a Flame Festival, with a torch relay and concert.

Various events were held along the route in Swansea.

Bikeability - to promote the benefits of cycling - was at Dunvant rugby club from 14:00 BST to 14:45 BST.

Swansea Stingrays disability swimming club were at the Wales National Pool when it arrived at 15:00 BST.

One of the main Team GB faces of the Games will be swimmer Ellie Simmonds, 17, who is based at the pool.

She won two gold medals in Beijing, after moving to Swansea from Walsall to train.

Swansea-based Ellie Simmonds expects a tough Games

"I know I've got quite a bit of pressure because people expect me to just get in the pool and swim gold medals," said Simmonds, ahead of the flame's arrival on Tuesday.

"It's going to be really tough. But the pressure drives me forward every time and I'm just looking forward to racing."

More than 60,000 people cheered on torchbearers when the Olympic flame passed through Swansea before the Games.

Councillor Nick Bradley, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "The London Olympics was the greatest sporting spectacle this country has ever seen and the Paralympics will follow suit.

"The arrival of the Paralympic flame gives Swansea people the chance to feel part of what's going to be a memorable occasion and cheer on some of our inspirational disabled athletes at the same time."

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