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Last Updated: Wednesday September 17 2008 14:48 GMT

Amazing ceremony ends Paralympics

Leaves drop into the Bird's Nest stadium (Photo: GOH CHAI HIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Paralympic Games have ended with an explosion of colour and fireworks at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing.

The ceremony was packed full of music and dancing, and thousands of leaves and petals fell from the sky.

The flame was put out to signify the end of the Games, which Paralympic Committee chief Philip Craven said had been the greatest ever.

London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, took the Paralympic flag to show London's time as the host city has now begun.

Boris Johnson, mayor of London receives the International Paralympic flag (Photo: LUI JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
London's Mayor took the Paralympic flag
Mr Johnson said he was "lost in admiration and awe for the achievements of the British team.

They have delivered for us - now we must deliver for them, and for all disabled Londoners and visitors," he added.

The red bus from the Olympics closing ceremony put in a second appearance.


It was led into the stadium by wheelchair basketball star Ade Adepitan, and Gareth Picken, a nine-year-old wheelchair gymnast and Blue Peter competition winner.

Meanwhile, back in Britain there were celebrations to mark the handover, with loads of people watching the ceremony in Trafalgar Square in London.

And up to 5,000 schools around the UK celebrated, with some hosting Paralympic sports days.

Dancers perform in the closing ceremony (Photo: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
There was loads of music and dancing
The Paralympics GB team won an amazing 42 golds and 102 medals overall, but finished second behind China.

The athletes are expected to fly back into Heathrow Airport in London on Thursday.