James Hamilton, 24, from Harold Hill, made a splash at Paralympic Opening Ceremony

James Hamilton, 24, took part in the Paralympic Opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium.

The former Emerson Park and Corbets Tey schoolboy appeared as part of the ‘umbrella’ sequence in the ceremony which ran throughout the evening.James, from Harold Hill, who has Down’s syndrome, took part with his personal assistant Marc Bennett.

His father Philip said: “James was nominated by my wife and I to be part of the Olympics and it was the committee that decided that he should be in the Paralympics opening ceremony.

“There was a great deal of travel, training and rehearsals, over 100 hours in total. For the first time ever James was sworn to secrecy and wasn’t allowed to tell anyone, even us, what he was doing and it was only just before that start that we even knew where to look for him.”

He added: “The Olympics and Paralympics are a once-in-a-lifetime event and there can only be a few that can say ‘I was there and part of that’.

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“James may not be the only one in Havering to have taken part, but no two parents could be more proud of their son than we are.”

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