In pictures: The Paralympics are off to a roaring start with a spectacular opening ceremony

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Paralympians competing in Rio will inspire and excite the world as the Games get under way, those who gathered to watch the spectacular opening ceremony were told by head of the International Paralympic Committee Sir Philip Craven.

Well, if the opening ceremony is anything to go by, we think he's right.

There were giant puppets...

A puppet driven by people
A puppet driven by people (Adam Davy/PA)

... and colourful beach-themed umbrellas

Umbrellas on the beach
Umbrellas on the beach (Adam Davy/PA)

US snowboarder and Paralympic bronze medallist Amy Purdy danced with a robot.

Amy Purdy dances with a robot
Amy Purdy dances with a robot (Adam Davy/PA)

These guys looked like an Antony Gormley sculpture

Performers stood in columns lit from below
Performers stood in columns lit from below (Silvia Izquierdo/AP)

ParalympicsGB entered the stadium in style, led by equestrian rider Lee Pearson.

Equestrian rider Lee Pearson carries the national flag of Great Britain
Equestrian rider Lee Pearson leads ParalympicsGB into the Maracana Stadium (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Ticker tape rained down from above as athletes entered the stadium.

Fireworks and ticker tape during the opening ceremony
Fireworks and ticker tape during the opening ceremony (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Wheelchair stunts wowed the crowd

Performers in wheelchairs performs tricks and stunts
Performers in wheelchairs performs tricks and stunts (AP)

What more could you want? If this is anything to go by, we've got an incredible two weeks ahead of us.