By Paul Osborne

The ParalympicsGB team launch has been hailed a "fantastic celebration" by British Paralympic athletes ©Getty ImagesJanuary 24 - Britain's Paralympic athletes have hailed their team launch for Sochi 2014 a "fantastic celebration" as all 12 selected members of the team, as well as the three competition partners, gathered in the heart of Glasgow to celebrate their selection.

"It has been a fantastic moment in time for all us athletes," said wheelchair curling skip Aileen Neilson.

"We have spent the last three-and-half-years working towards the Paralympic Games but you are training so much that you never really get the chance to stop and take in how fantastic it is to be able to represent your country at the biggest competition in the world.

"The team launch is such a wonderful event as it gives us a chance to celebrate, briefly, our journey so far.

"It is an honour to be here with my fellow Paralympians and to be pulling on our ParalympicsGB shirts for the first time."

Held over two days, the ParalympicsGB team launch is the first time that all selected athletes and staff members, all part of the accredited British delegation to Russia, gather in one place to celebrate their selection.

The event got underway yesterday morning with team kitting-out, where the athletes and staff all received their Adidas competition and village wear.

The team launch saw Britain's Paralympians gather for a celebration before heading off the their final preparation camps before Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images The team launch saw Britain's Paralympians gather for a celebration before heading off the their final preparation camps before Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images

The event also ensured that all final administrative processes were complete, before celebrating the athletes' journey so far with a gala dinner at the City Chambers, hosted by Glasgow's Lord Provost.

Because of training and preparation commitments, the event was also the only occasion that the delegation will come together before the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games in March.

During the event, ParalympicsGB also announced the seven alpine skiing athletes who were joining the wheelchair curling team - selected last year - in the British squad, alongside the three selected guides.

"I couldn't be more excited about Sochi now that we have celebrated our selection at the team launch," said skier Kelly Gallagher, who will represent ParalympicsGB for the second time in Sochi after making her debut at Vancouver 2010.

"We have all been working so hard and remained so focussed on our individual performances that I can't believe this is finally happening.

"Now that we have had a chance to really feel like one team it will make me train and focus even more in the next few crucial weeks."

The 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympic Games is due to get underway on March 7 with the Closing Ceremony set for March 16.

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