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Thank you Mr Speaker.
“Spirit in motion” is our Paralympians’ motto that they take to Rio.
It is of great credit to the Australian Paralympic Committee and should be a source of great national pride that Australia is sending a record team to this year's games.
In winning the right to represent their country, each and every one of these elite athletes has already achieved tremendously.
It is no exaggeration that for every challenge an Olympian overcomes, a Paralympian faces and conquers them ten times over.
And only those closest to them: partners, parents, mentors and teammates, truly know the determination required to reach the pinnacle of a Paralympic Games.
All Australians can unquestioningly admire their feats of athleticism, fortitude and grace.
I'm confident we will achieve great success in the pool, track, court and on the water - medals in great numbers and all colours.
But there is much more for all of us here in Australia to gain and to learn.
I was privileged to attend the Beijing Paralympics in 2008. It opened my eyes to what the future should and could be.
At the Paralympics, people of all abilities and all nations mixed together as equals. At the Paralympics you soon stop looking at the impairment and instead you see the whole person.
What you see is elite athletes who happen to have an impairment. It is a lesson for all time.
In the coming weeks our Paralympians won't just inspire us, but teach us.
In doing so, they will make us all a bit more proud to be Australian.
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