LONDON -- London's spectacular summer of sports was given a rousing send-off Sunday.
Coldplay and an all-star support cast brought the curtain down on the most-watched and best-attended Paralympic Games of all time, ending a six-week-long festival of sport in the British capital that began with the hugely successful Olympics.
Rapper Jay-Z and pop star Rihanna collaborated with the English rock band in a three-hour extravaganza at the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium honoring the spirit of festivals throughout British history.
Central to the ceremony - called the "Festival of the Flame" - were the 4,200 Paralympians from 164 nations who sat around the field of play from the start.
The past 11 days of memorable competition have shifted perceptions and shattered stereotypes, ensuring disabled sport will never be seen in the same light. "
I think people are going to look back at this Paralympic Games and for the first time really, truly believe that Paralympic sport is not just inspirational, it's hard-core sport," said South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius, the iconic figure of the Paralympics.
A moving tribute to wounded British servicemen and members of the British army opened the show and saw Luke Sinnott, a captain who lost both legs from above the knee in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2010, hang the Union Flag at the top of flagpole in the middle of the stadium.
Proud flag-bearers marched in before a motorcade of 25 trucks, in a variety of shapes including peacocks and fish, stormed the stadium and kick-started Coldplay's set list that artistic director Kim Gavin wanted to reflect the four seasons at the heart of the show.