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Stephen Hawking opens the Paralympics with a Big Bang

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Aug. 30, 2012 at 10:31 AM   |   Comments

Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics, titled "Enlightenment," connected scientific achievement with human triumph over limitations, and who better serve as master of ceremonies than theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking?

Described by the Paralympics organizing team as "the most famous disabled person in the world," Professor Hawking spoke to the 62,000-strong audience in his famously computerized voice:

"Look up at the stars, and not down at your feet," Hawking said. "'Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious."

Hawking later joined British band Orbital for an impassioned performance of Ian Dury's1981 hit "Spasticus Autisticus," as stadium volunteers formed themselves into a representation of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Performers also waved signs that read "Equality" and "Rights."

You can watch the whole ceremony below.

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