The British Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City held a hoisting ceremony of the Flag of the Host Country of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on February 11 to mark the 200-day countdown to the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

British Consul General Douglas Barnes and Vietnamese athletes who will compete in the Games attended the ceremony.

Addressing the event, Barnes said he hoped Paralympics will help change people’s behaviour and activities towards people with disabilities and handicapped people playing sports.

The UK is the cradle of many top sports, the diplomat said, adding that the hosting of the upcoming Olympics and Paralympics will help international friends gain a better understanding not only of sports but also the UK - an open, dynamic and creative nation.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to attract as many as 14,700 athletes from all over the world and 22,000 journalists. About four billion people will closely follow the events on different TV channels.

Earlier this year, the British Embassy in Hanoi held a flag raising ceremony on Jan. 10, marking 200 days to go to the Olympic Games in London./.