Published Friday, 17 August 2012
Jason Smyth won gold in the men's 200m at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. (© Getty)
The London Paralympic Games open on 29 August and eight competitors from Northern Ireland will be trying to earn their place on the winner's podium.
Six athletes are competing with Team Ireland and two with Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Jason Smyth, from Derry will compete in athletics, the partially-sighted runner has been called 'the fastest Paralympian on Earth'. He is the current reigning 100m/200m paralympic champion, bringing home double gold in 2008 Paralympian Games.
Another athlete who competes in domestic able-bodied athletics is Michael McKillop from Glengormley. Michael is one of Ireland's most successful paralympians and reigning 800m paralympic champion.
Sharon Vennard, from Newtownards, will be making her paralympic debut for Team GB in archery, having previously won Gold at the World Championship.
Competing in 100m backstroke swimming is 16-year-old Bethany Firth from Seaforde, Co Down, who won silver in last year's European Championships.
Another young athlete on Team GB is sprinter Sally Brown, 17 years old, from Ballykelly, Co Londonderry who has won silver and two bronze medals at the Paralympic World Cup.
Laurence McGivern from Rostrevor, Co Down, after not initially being chosen, secured his place at the games on a personal best performance in Germany.
Multi-talented competitor James Brown from Portaferry, will compete in tandem cycling and Eilish Byrne in horse riding.
Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin paid tribute to all the paralympians from Ireland taking part.
"I am sure the excitement and drama of the Olympic Games has inspired us all. Now it is the turn of our paralympians. After all of their hard work and dedication it is their turn to take the global stage and compete for success," she said.
"All of these elite sports people demonstrate the values of these Paralympic Games; that of determination, courage, equality and inspiration. They are great ambassadors for the island of Ireland.
"I wish all the athletes from Ireland competing in the Paralympic Games the very best. We are now in the countdown to the games with the Paralympic Flame being lit with a day of celebrations on Saturday 25 August 2012. Let the games begin!"