AS THE Paralympics enters its final stretch, it is time to pay tribute to what has been a fantastic sporting spectacle.

Much of the nation has been spellbound by the sporting feats witnessed, and enjoyed, over the past nine days. And quite rightly so.

But we cannot celebrate the event without mentioning our local athletes, who performed so well and achieved so much.

From Mark Colbourne’s flying start with the GB team’s first medal of the games to Liz Johnson’s bronze medal-winning performance on Wednesday, our athletes and swimmers have done us proud. And with Kyron Duke due to compete again today, our local medal haul may yet grow.

Their achievements, though, are the icing on the cake.

This has been the bestattended and best-supported Paralympic Games in the history of the event. Certainly, the national coverage has been unparalleled and has helped fuel support for all the GB competitors.

Our hope is that the legacy of this event will not only be in a sea-change in attitudes towards disabled people as they go about their daily lives.

Because let’s face it, there is room for improvement.

But more than that, we hope that those events will be able to maintain at least some of the levels of interest they have enjoyed in recent days.

That would be a lasting legacy indeed and one really worth celebrating