1.8 Million Germans Watched the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics
Enlarge image Manuela Schmermund took Germany's first medal of the 2012 Paralympics, a silver, in the 10-meter air rifle competition. (© picture alliance / dpa) A total of 1.8 million people watched German national public broadcaster ARD’s showing of the opening ceremony of the Paralympics late Wednesday evening. Lutz Marmor, director of North German Broadcasting (NDR), said on Thursday that “this was a great success, which goes to show that the [the Paralympics] have arrived at the center of society.” The broadcast captured a market share of 12.6 percent.
The United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II officially declared the opening of the games at 11:13 pm local time, with more than 4,200 athletes present in London’s Olympic Stadium. During the Opening Ceremonies the German delegation came in following the flag bearer, Daniela Schulte.
World-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, who has been in a wheelchair for nearly 50 years due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also made an appearance during the opening ceremony, which was directed by Hollywood director Stephen Daldry. German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF are aiming to broadcast 65 hours of the Paralympic Games from London through September 9. Live streams of the games are also available on the Internet.