By David Gold

French team_leave_London_2012_on_Eurostar_September_10_2012September 13 - The Belgian and French teams were given one last send off as they departed London following the Paralympic Games which concluded on Sunday (September 9).

They were treated by Eurostar to a musical performance from the Royal College of Music brass band, with Gold Rush cocktails provided by a London mixologist, David Boyd.

Eurostar laid on two special trains for the teams, modified to ensure that up to 18 wheelchair athletes and hundreds of others with special travel needs were able to make the journey home together.

Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, the Official International Rail Service Provider to London 2012, said "it is a bit sad that it is the end".

As they enjoyed their farewell, the Paralympians also left messages of inspiration for future generations who will follow in their footsteps.

"I think this was a very important moment for the Paralympic community in Belgium," said the country's Chef de Mission, Ellen Volckaert.

"It was really a good start for us after the bad performance in Beijing with just one medal – now we are off to a good start and are hoping to do even better in Rio [in 2016]."

French Paralympic_team_leaves_London_14_SeptFrance's Paralympic flag-bearer Damien Seguin leaves a personal message on a Eurostar train

Belgium (pictured top) claimed seven medals, three of them gold, to finish 36th in the medals table in London.

Michele George, who won two gold medals in equestrian, said: "I think it is very positive for sport in Belgium because by having these medals I can show to people that there is a way of doing sport and that we are all equal.

"I feel a lot of people have a lot of fear to compete and do sports because they have a disability."

France won eight gold medals, 19 silvers and 18 bronze, finishing 16th in the medals table.

Stephane Houdet, who won a silver and bronze medal in the wheelchair tennis events for France, said: "It was only my second Games and it was amazing.

"The crowd was just fantastic and we had the feeling that everyone was involved and knew the sport."

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