Watch the Rio 2016 Olympics opening
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Games will be first Paralympics in
the United Kingdom, although the
U.K. did host a direct precursor to
the Paralympics, the Stoke
Mandeville Games in 1948, which was
organised by Dr. Ludwig Guttmann and
the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, on
the same day as the opening ceremony
for the 1948 Summer Olympics.
digital clock in Trafalgar Square
commenced a countdown to the
Paralympic opening ceremony on 14
March 2011. However less than 24
hours after it was switched on, it
suffered a technical failure and
stopped, displaying "500 (days) 7
(hours) 06 (minutes) 56 (seconds)."
It was quickly repaired.
September 2011, Trafalgar Square
hosted International Paralympic Day,
an event hosted by Rick Edwards, Ade
Adepitan and Iwan Thomas, to
coincide with a visit to London by
representatives of the IPC. The
event celebrated the Paralympic
Games, showcasing and demonstrating
the 20 sports which would be
featured during the Games (with some
sessions also made inclusive to
people with hearing disabilities),
and also featured appearances by the
Paralympic athletes Oscar Pistorius
(of which a bronze statue of his
likeness by Ben Dearnley was also
unveiled), Ellie Simmonds and Sascha
Kindred. Prime Minister David
Cameron and Mayor Boris Johnson also
made appearances during the event,
Two days later on 10 September 2011,
supermarket chain Sainsbury's and
Channel 4 presented a family concert
at Clapham Common, Sainsbury's Super
Saturday. The event featured
showcases of Paralympic sports, and
featured performances by pop music
acts such as Nicola Roberts, The
Wanted, and The Saturdays.
Channel 4, the official television
broadcaster of the Summer
Paralympics in the United Kingdom,
produced a television advertisement
entitled "Meet the Superhumans" to
promote its coverage of the games.
The advert, produced by in-house
director Tom Tagholm with input from
British Paralympic Association's Tim
Hollingsworth, was intended to help
bring more exposure to the
Paralympics as an "event in its own
right" rather than just an
afterthought to the Summer Olympics.
Set to Public Enemy's song "Harder
Than You Think", the advert focused
on the competitive and "superhuman"
aspects of Paralympic sport, whilst
non-sentimentally bringing attention
to the personal stories that reflect
every athlete's participation in the
games. "Meet the Superhumans"
premiered on 17 July , and aired
simultaneously as a "roadblock"
advert on 78 different commercial
television channels in the UK.