PARALYMPIC teams from five different continents who chose to base themselves in Wales ahead of the 2012 Games will be welcomed by First Minister Carwyn Jones at a special event tonight.

Teams based in Wales include New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, China, British Cycling, US Cycling, Liberia, India and the Oceanic Paralympic Committee.

Officials said that to make them feel welcome, athletes and support staff have been invited to a reception at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.

First Minister Mr Jones said: "The Paralympics are a truly inspirational event where individuals have overcome huge adversity to reach the top of their sport and represent their country at the highest level.

"It is great in the build up to the Paralympic Games, Wales is playing host to a number of national teams from across the globe.

"Teams have chosen Wales as their temporary home because we can offer a range of world class sporting facilities and the relevant knowledge and expertise in delivering for Paralympic athletes.’’ During the Olympic Games, Cardiff's Millennium Stadium hosted a number of football group matches and the Welsh capital was also used by a host of nations.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games officially begin on August 29.

A Welsh Government-backed official ceremony recognising Welsh athletes' performance in the Olympics and Paralympics is due to take place next month.