2145: Here come Iran. When it comes to sitting volleyball, these guys are the ones to watch. They dominate this sport.
2146: We can talk about Germany's pink outfits all day. But really, who can tear their eyes away from Iraq's balloon hats? Amazing.
Interesting fact of the day: This team has sent 20 Paralympians tonight, compared to just one for the Olympics.
2154: Benvenuto Italia! Here come the Italians. Among their ranks former F1 driver Alex Zanardi, who lost his legs during an horrific motorsport crash in 2001. Refusing to be beaten by his circumstances, Zanardi switched his attention to handcycling. A silver medalist at the World Road Para-Cycling Championships, Zanardi goes for gold in the men’s H4 Road Race, H4 Time Trial and the mixed H 1-4 Team Relay.
2203: Stop press. Take a look at the Mexican outfits. Oh the silken ponchos. The vibrant colours. The images of leaping deer. This is too much. I love it.
2204: What's your vote for the best uniforms so far?
2212: Among the Dutch team, circling the track now, is a woman with truly awesome pedigree. With a record Roger Federer would envy, Esther Vergeer is the queen of wheelchair tennis. She is unbeaten since, wait for it, January 30, 2003. That is almost a decade and over 400 matches. I fancy her for a medal at these Games…
2219: There is no decision to be made, the Paralympics every time. Barca and Real Madrid play each other, on average, 32 times a season. These Games come along once every four years. A truly monumental spectacle.
2222: The sounds of British band Jamiroquai fill the stadium. The group fronted by Jay Kay who, funnily enough, used to be very well known for his fondness of hats.
2227: South Africa arrive and guess who is carrying the flag? Mr. Paralympics himself Oscar Pistorius. “The Blade Runner” made history by competing in the Olympic Games earlier this month and he defends three gold medals from Beijing.
2238: Switzerland’s Heinz Frei in the da house. This man is quite a Paralympic legend. The wheelchair racer and cross country sit-skier has competed in every Games since 1984. Boasting 14 gold medals in the summer AND winter Paralympics, he’ll be one to watch in 2012.
2239: Also taking to the stadium: South Korea. The Paralympics owe a lot to these guys. It was the 1988 Games in Seoul that first used the term ‘Paralympics. And the first time in 24 years it took place in the same city as the Olympics. As it should be.
2247: Listen to that roar! Team GB, the biggest in Paralympic history, enters the stadium. Unleash the confetti. And let the Games begin! (well, tomorrow at least). Woo!
2250: We can be heroes. You said it Bowie. You said it.
2252: Awww you guys. And just like that roof lifts. Lovely scenes down at the stadium.
2302: And the roof lifts off a second time. This time with the incredible voice of blind soprano Denise Leigh, singing a tribute to the athletes called 'Spirit in Motion'. Signed by deaf actor Deepa Shastri.
2305: London 2012 chief Sebastian Coe addresses the crowd:
"On behalf of every Briton and every lover of sport, it is my great honor to say “welcome home” to the Paralympic Games.
Welcome home to this great sporting celebration, welcome home to a movement which celebrates what sport is all about.
Sport shows what is possible, sport never takes no for an answer.
Everything sport stands for we are going to experience at these Paralympic Games."
2113: It was all building up to this...The Queen declares the London 2012 Paralympics open! Enter fireworks!
2319: Well said! The Paralympic flag has been delivered by eight members of the British under-21 wheelchair basketball team and is now being hoisted to the sound of the Games anthem. We're seconds away from that cauldron being re-lit...
2321: British paralympic swimmer Liz Johnson takes the oath on behalf of all athletes. There is still a cauldron to light and apples to be crunched.