THE Paralympic flame arrived in York to a warm reception from cheering crowds yesterday.
Thousands of people lined Duncombe Place to welcome the flame as it was carried to the Minster from York Station by open- topped bus.
It was then carried on to Front Street, in Acomb , where 15-year-old Paralympic torch-bearer Sianagh Gallagher cycled with it along with Robin Plumley, Calum Japes and Dom Smith to leisure centre Energise, in Cornlands Road.
At Energise the flame was the centrepiece of Celebrating Ability Day, a free day of accessible sport for disabled people.
Speaking outside the Minster, Sianagh, from Acomb, said: “It means absolutely everything to be doing this. The crowds and cheers are so overwhelming.”
York entrepreneur Dom, 26, said: “It’s a huge honour to be here and it’s wonderful to see all these people. I’m really surprised everyone has come out. I had heard how many people were supporting the Paralympics, but to see it has exceeded my expectations. It will inspire me for the rest of my life.”
The award-winning York choir, Hands And Voices performed throughout the afternoon yesterday.
Lord Mayor Coun Keith Hyman welcomed the flame as it was brought to York Station. He said: “It’s fantastic we have got the Paralympic torch having had the Olympic torch first. To have both is an honour most people have not had and is a recognition for disability sports.”
Eight-year-old Evan Whitton brought the flame from London to York. Evan, who has cerebral palsy, was unable to walk a year ago until an operation last year enabled him to walk for the first time using crutches.
An estimated 4,000 people lined the streets outside the Minster and 1,000 in Acomb, City of York Council said.
Tomorrow, the Paralympic Lantern will take pride of place with the York 800 flotilla on the River Ouse. The event will see 200 boats of various shapes and sizes cruising the river from 12.30pm until 4pm.