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Paralympics come to close in ceremony tinged with sadness

Omnisport logoOmnisport 19/09/2016 Nicholas McGee

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For the second time in less than a month the Maracana was lit up by a stunning fireworks display as Rio bid farewell to the 2016 Paralympic Games with a spectacular closing ceremony.

After 11 days of action, the Games were brought to a close with a plethora of pyrotechnics, while the athletes and spectators were also treated to a variety of musical performances.

Rio bid farewell to the 2016 Paralympic Games with a spectacular closing ceremony. © AP Photo/Leo Correa Rio bid farewell to the 2016 Paralympic Games with a spectacular closing ceremony. But it was a celebration tinged with sadness, with a moment of silence held for Iranian para-cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad, who died following a crash in the men's cycling C4-5 road race on Saturday.

It was a celebration tinged with sadness, with a moment of silence held for para-cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad, who died following a crash © Simon Bruty for OIS/IOC It was a celebration tinged with sadness, with a moment of silence held for para-cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad, who died following a crash

Paying tribute to Golbarnezhad, president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee Carlos Nuzman, said: "I want to send a message to the athletes of Iran, our prayers are with you. We are extremely sorry for your loss."

The ceremonial Paralympic flag was handed to the governor of Tokyo, which will host the next Olympics and Paralympics in 2020, by International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven.

Iranian para-cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad on a screen at Maracana Stadium © Ricardo Moraes/Reuters Iranian para-cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad on a screen at Maracana Stadium

Hailing the success of the Games, Craven told the crowd: "You embraced the Games and took the athletes to your hearts and they relished your support. You created a family carnival of sport and you were rewarded with incredible performances.

"The noise you created, the passion you showed and the warmth you provided inspired the Paralympic athletes to achieve what some thought was impossible.

"These Games signify a very bright future for this youthful and wonderful nation."

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, fireworks during the opening ceremony held in Stadio Maracana of Rio de Janeiro the 7th of september 2016. (Photo by Mauro Ujetto/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Rio 2016: the best moments from the Paralympic Games

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