Preparations underway for London Paralympic 2012

A total of 16 swimmers have been named that will represent Great Britain in the pool this year and there are strong hopes the team will provide gold medal success.

In the last Paralympic Games, Team GB won 11 golds in swimming events and came fourth overall in the pool competition so they are expecting to replicate or improve on their performance.

One of the confirmed team members is Ellie Simmonds who won two gold medals in the Beijing Games in 2008 and has become a firm favourite with the UK public. She is now looking forward to competing on home soil and believes it will help her results.

Simmonds said: "I have worked really hard for the past four years to qualify and I couldn't be happier now I have done that. The London games are a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"Beijing was really special for me but I think walking out in front of 17,000 people and hearing them cheer us on will be even better. Competing in front of a home crowd last month was amazing and I can't wait to do it again."

A further 26 swimmers will be added to the team in June when the International Paralympic Committee meet to finalise the squad.

The Paralympic Games begin with the opening ceremony on August 29th and will feature 20 different sports so if you've got tickets to the event you should look to book central London hotels as soon as you can.

The closing weekend of the Games also coincides with the popular Mayor's Thames Festival on September 8th and there are plans for a spectacular fireworks display to celebrate London's role as Olympic hosts.

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