LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe's speech at closing ceremony of London Paralympics
Xinhua | 2012-9-10 10:03:09
By Agencies
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Following is the full text of the speech given by Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on Sunday:

Together these past few weeks we have shared some wonderful days, haven't we?

Days where incredible people have performed feats we hardly thought possible. Days, in these Paralympic Games, where our minds were opened to what people can do, to what they can achieve by sheer talent and determination.

And I want to share with you two stories from these days. Everyone will have their own tales to tell, but these are mine.

I was travelling on the tube when I met someone wearing the familiar purple uniform and a pass marked Medic. A Games maker. And the Games makers stand among the heroes of London 2012. We began talking.

His name was Andrew and he told me he was a doctor at St Mary's hospital on his way to help out at boxing.

But when I tried to thank him, he wouldn't let me. He said he was the one who wanted to do the thanking. And as we did a very British dance over who should thank who, he suddenly cut through all the politeness and said:

"I was on duty on 7/7, that awful day. For me this is closure. I wasn't sure I should come or whether I could face it. I'm so glad I did. For I've seen the worst of mankind and now I've seen the best of mankind."

Just a few days later I met Emily - a Games maker at the Paralympic Games. She talked of what the Games meant for her and what participating in wheelchair basketball means to her. "It has lifted the clouds of limitation", she said.

So Andrew and Emily, I am going to have the last word. Thank you thank you to you and all the volunteers.

The Paralympic Games has set new records every day, sporting records, records for crowds, for television audiences, for unbridled spirit.

In this country we will never think of sport the same way and we will never think of disability the same way. So yes, the Paralympians have lifted the cloud of limitation.

Finally, there are some famous words you can find stamped on the bottom of a product. Words, that when you read them, you know mean high quality, mean skill, mean creativity.

We have stamped those words on the Olympic and Paralympic Games of London 2012.

London 2012. Made in Britain.

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