Paralympians – you did Leeds, your home city proud

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They pushed their bodies to the limit to make our country – and city – proud on sport’s biggest stage.

And as the Paralympic Games drew to a close with a glittering ceremony last night, Leeds celebrated its record-breaking stars who sparkled in Rio.

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The city’s champions include inspirational Kadeena Cox, who won two gold medals at her debut games in cycling and athletics, to help the nation achieve its most successful Paralympics in 28 years.

Her remarkable achievements were honoured by organisers as, just two years after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she was chosen to be Paralympics GB’s flag bearer for the closing ceremony at the Maracana Stadium last night.

Ms Cox, from Chapeltown, said: “There’s been so many amazing performances and so many people have done great things here.

“So to be standing here and representing that, it’s just an honour.”

She made history last week by becoming the first British Paralympian since 1984 to win gold medals in two different sports at the same games.

Other stars who shone at this year’s games include wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft, from Halifax, who won her third gold medal at the games on Friday.

Gold medals were also won by Calderdale’s Karen Darke, as well as by Steve Bate and his pilot, Adam Duggleby, in the tandem.

Leeds powerlifter Ali Jawad bagged a silver medal in weighlifting at his third games.

And triple gold medalist David Stone, from Leeds, won bronze in cycling, while city swimmer Claire Cashmore secured silver. Elsewhere, Castleford’s Leah Evans and Sophie Carrigill, from Wakefield, won plaudits despite narrowly missing out on a bronze in wheelchair basketball.

ParalympicsGB won 147 medals – 64 gold – and finished second in the tables behind China.

The athletes will be celebrated at a Yorkshire Olympic and Paralympic homecoming parade in Leeds on September 28.

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