Fireworks mark end of successful Rio Paralympics

1:17 pm on 19 September 2016

Rio de Janeiro has said goodbye to the first Paralympics held in South America in a blaze of fireworks and Samba.

Fireworks at Rio's Maracana Stadium during the 2016 Paralympics Closing Ceremony

Fireworks at Rio's Maracana Stadium during the 2016 Paralympics Closing Ceremony Photo: AFP

The closing ceremony of what will be remembered as the people's Games was held at Rio's famed Maracana Stadium.

A giant conga-line of athletes snaked around the stadium to the cheers of thousands of fans who danced in the stands to Brazilian funk music.

The triple medal winning sprinter Liam Malone carried the New Zealand flag as the flagbearers marched in single file into the venue.

After being booed in his brief appearance at the opening ceremony, Brazil's interim President Michel Temer didn't attend and Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike took the Paralympic flag in a symbolic handover to the next host city.

A minute's silence was observed to mark the death of an Iranian para-cyclist in the men's road race on Sunday, the first ever fatality in Paralympic Games history.

It overshadowed a Paralympics that dealt with both a funding and doping crisis to be a success, saving the Games experience for the Brazilian public after the scandal-marred Olympics.

Four weeks ago ticket sales stood at 12 per cent, but a late surge made Rio the second best attended Paralympics in history, behind London, with 2.1 million tickets sold.

Affordable prices for a recession-battered country and the 'FillTheSeats' campaign to buy tickets for local disadvantaged children, which Prince Harry got behind, has made Rio a Paralympics for the people.

Powerhouse China won the most gold medals by a mammoth margin, while Britain beat Ukraine into second on the medal table.