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Foreign media, leaders laud Paralympics, closing ceremony
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Foreign media and world leaders Wednesday lavished praise on the Beijing Paralympic Games and its closing ceremony.

French media said that the 2008 Beijing Paralympics provided a stage for excellent performances by disabled athletes from around the world, drawing a great deal of international attention.

With their relentless efforts, some of the disabled athletes achieved results that could rival that of able-bodied athletes, French sports daily L'Equipe said, adding that the wonderful performances of "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, South African amputee swimmer Natalie du Toit and Poland's Natalia Partyka among others even made people forget their physical disability.

Meanwhile, AFP said the Beijing Paralympics is the grandest in history as it drew the participation of over 4,000 athletes from some 150 countries and regions.

The BBC reported that once again, the Beijing Paralympic Games organizers produced a ceremony packed with light, sound and choreography, lapped up by a capacity Bird's Nest audience.

It said Philip Craven, the International Paralympic Committee chief, paid tribute to "the best ever Paralympic villages, a never-ending and self-generating supply of passion and emotion, superb organization and wonderful volunteers" in his speech.

He hailed the "millions of new Paralympic sports aficionados both here in China and around the world," the BBC reported.

Italian sports TV Rai Sport piu hailed the successful conclusion of the 12-day Beijing 2008 Paralympics Wednesday, saying the event was as wonderful as last month's Olympics.

With the same magnificent show of fireworks, the Chinese capital city of Beijing swiftly turned into a Paralympic town in early September from an Olympic town in August, the TV broadcaster said.

President of the Spanish Paralympic Committee, Miguel Carballeda, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua that the scale, organization and facilities of the Beijing Paralympics were all unprecedented and even the future hosts would find it hard to exceed that.

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