BOLTON’S most prolific athlete is to star in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Tony Griffin, who won 38 international medals in a decade-long Paralympic career in the 1970s and 1980s, said taking part in the opening ceremony would be one of the “proudest moments” of his life.

The 52-year-old, from Great Lever, is the town’s most decorated athlete, with more international medals than Farnworth’s Olympic cyclist Jason Kenny and boxer Amir Khan put together.

Mr Griffin, who has cerebral palsy, went to his first Paralympics in the south of France at the age of 16 and travelled again with the British team to Holland in 1980.

Four years later came his most successful competition to date — the 1984 Paralympic Games in New York. He brought home two golds—for javelin and the Indian club — and two world records.

His record throw of 50 metres in the Indian club — an event similar to the hammer — stands to this day.

Mr Griffin, who has been travelling down to London regularly to train for the opening ceremony, said: “It has got to be one of the proudest moments of my career.I’m going back to my old stomping ground, if you like.

“I feel very honoured to have been asked.” Mr Griffin was asked to take part in February and has been in training since then.

He will be suspended 120 ft in the air in the Olympic Stadium as part of an aerial display.

The former Paralympian has four more weeks of training left before 10 weeks of full-time rehearsals begin.

Taking place at 8.30pm on August 29, organisers said the ceremony would be “a celebration of the inspirational spirit of the Paralympic Games that challenges perceptions of human possibility”.

Mr Griffin said there was also a chance that he may take part in the closing ceremony on September 9.

The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games, on July 27, is being masterminded by Oscar-winning Hollywood film producer Danny Boyle, from Radcliffe, a former pupil at Thornleigh College, Bolton.