Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson praises Paralympic ticket sales

By Elizabeth HudsonBBC Sport
Crowd will win us medals- Tanni Grey Thompson

The 11-time Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has described ticket sales for the London Paralympics as "a dream come true".

The Games, which begin on 29 August, are expected to be first Paralympics to sell out.

Prior to the Olympics there were around 1.2m tickets sold, with a further 600,000 sold during London 2012.

"If there was one area I was worried about, it was getting people to come and watch the Paralympics," she said.

"British people love the Paralympic team and are hugely supportive and love watch it on television, but there is a big difference between that and spending your money and leaving your front door to go and watch.

"It shows that not just the British public, but the rest of the world are really interested in the London Paralympics."

Grey-Thompson, who will be part of the BBC Radio 5 live commentary team at the Paralympics, believes the British team need to make the most of the once in a lifetime chance of competing at a home Games.

"The crowds at the Olympic events have been like nothing I have ever seen in all the years I was competing," she said.

"I think what is great for the Paralympic athletes is that they have been able to watch the Olympic guys compete and hear the roar of the crowd and see their reaction. Everyone said it was going to be amazing and loud with lots of union jacks but I think everyone has been blown away by it all.

"A lot of Paralympians have come to Olympic events to watch and try to get a sense of it alll because having so many people shouting your name is the one thing that they can't prepare for, but I think it will raise the performance levels. We have definitely seen GB medals at the Olympics that we wouldn't have seen if the Games were anywhere else.

"Having the Games in London is like nothing else and it will be a highlight for most, if not all, of the team. They have been getting used to the idea of it for a long time but I want the GB team to try and block out the noise and concentrate on their performances. And I also want them to enjoy the moment because it will be gone in a flash.

"The Olympics has been absolutely incredible, not just in terms of the organisation but in terms of how well the British team have performed and I think that has raised the profile of the Games, but this is going to be the best Paralympics we have ever seen."